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Does this mean that each projector
          had a special filter in front of the
          lens?                                          About The Metro
            Yes, to match what the glasses did.
          Without the glasses you saw two
          overlapping identical images. And there
          was a big argument - Metro had
          brought their glasses in from Japan.
          They looked like sunglasses, with a
          grey plastic frame. The Polaroid
          Corporation said Metro should have
          been using their glasses. After each
          screening the glasses were handed in
          and sterilised backstage by a chap
          given that specific job.

          So as many as 1,300 or 1,400 glasses
          might have to be sterilized?
            For a full house, yes. They had
          ample glasses. They used to put them
          on big metal trays and spray them with
          some liquid and then get a hairdryer
          and dry them and then put them in
          paper sleeves ready to hand back to the
          next audience.                         When news of the imminent     have refrigerated air-conditioning)
            At one session one of the footage  closure and destruction of the Metro  and it always smelled nice. It was
          feeders became damaged - the footage  Collins Street became public, nary a  the perfect home for the ‘high-
          feeder counts into the film, counts  protest was heard. Perhaps it was  formal’ style characteristic of MGM
          down from 12 feet to the start of the  fatigue after adjusting to the  for the next 20 years.
          film - and the assistant said, “I’ll put a  uncertain fate of four other theatres,  The writer for Building magazine
          new leader on.” Well, he joined it on  or did the silence show a sense of  praised the way the interior
          and at the next session we came up out  ambiguity about the Metro?   maintained the tonings of the foyer -
          of sync, terribly out of sync, so we had  Here was a theatre of restrained  deep brown and putty colours near
          to halt and re-register one projector  opulence, worthy of its prestige  eye level, grading into tans and
          against the other with the footage  address. The problem was that it was  creams, then a discrete use of a soft
          numbers on the side of it, which were  only a few doors from the Regent  creamy green near the cornice and
          printed on the side of the reel. You’d be  and comparisons were inevitable. If  dome. There was a wiped bronze
          yelling across to the other operator,  there is any truth in the adage that  finish to the plaster caps of the
          “I’m on IA 642” or some such thing.  good taste is the enemy of art (or  double pilasters.
          Pop it in the aperture, start up and we  architecture), then the Metro was  The cove lighting of the ceiling
          were back in sync again. There were  probably a victim of it.        dome provided most of the
          only two or three stops in the whole
                                                 Architect and theatre historian  illumination. The dome and its
          season of Kiss Me Kate in a season of
                                              Ross Thorne has commented that the  patterned margins had modelled
          about 12 weeks, so we were pretty
                                              choice of a modified French Empire-  figures in cream-grey and ivory
                                              Louis XV1 style was curious for  azure with gold enrichments. The
            At one stage we damaged some      1934.                            wall-lamps throughout were topped
          sections in the right-hand reel. Each left                           with naked globes, typical of the
                                                 Construction was supervised by a
          and right reel had an identical sound                                ‘rich yet simple’ effect overall.
                                              representative from Loews’ Theatres
          track. We had a pile up one day and the
                                              New York, at a time when the studio  Photos of the stage have never
          bits we damaged on the right-hand reel
                                              arm - MGM, had Cedric Gibbons    done it justice. It's best look was a
          had to be cut out and replaced with
                                              designing contemporary interiors for  1950s simplification to a satin
          black bits of film to keep it in sync
                                              films like Grand Hotel and Dinner  traveller curtain covering the
          with the left reel. This was better than
                                              At Eight. Clearly separation of  Panoramic Screen.
          the other solution of doing more
                                              powers ruled at Loews Inc.          If this Metro was never on a list
          damage by cutting bits out of the left
                                                 Whatever the theatre may have  of ‘palace-style’ theatres, it was next
          hand reel to match a shortened right-
                                              lacked in ‘wow’ factor, it made up  in line to the claim.  ★
          hand reel.
                                              for in the quality of its finish. No  - I.S.
                                              other city theatre used timber
                                              panelling, had deeper pile on the   See also From Concert Hall to
                                              carpets, or more comfortable seats. It  Cinema by Ross Thorne, Kino 78
                                              was cool on the hottest days, snug in  and The Auditorium - Birth of a
                                              winter (the first in Melbourne to  Showcase by Fred Page, CR 33
          14  2008 CINEMARECORD
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