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Sam made almost daily trips from                                   About AEG Projectors
          Velden to Munich to negotiate with the                                  The projectors which Sam Cylich
          Bavarian government for the purchase                                 brought to Melbourne had some
          of the projectors and other equipment.                               advanced design features.
          The negotiations were long and                                          The image (below) is a left-hand
          protracted. Removal of anything from                                 operated AEG projector. Left and right
          Germany was virtually prohibited, since                              hand machines, suitable for a one-man
          post-war reparation was exacting a                                   operation in confined spaces, were
          huge burden.                                                         common in European cinemas. The
            Eventually Sam succeeded, at                                       idea was only seen in Australia with
          substantial financial cost, in bringing                              European machines.
          two tons of cinema equipment to                                         Other German brands in Australia,
          Australia. Much of this weight was the                               some imported pre-World War 1, were
          projection equipment, complete with                                  Bauer, Ernemann, Hahn Goerz and
          arc rectifiers. Other items included                                 Zeiss. During the War years some
          35mm motion picture cameras, one of                                  brands were re-badged and came into
          which was a hand-cranked Ernemann.                                   the country via ‘the back door.’
            Sam set sail from Germany in
          1951with his precious gear, aboard the
          Floto Lauro liner Sydney on its second
          voyage to Australia. When the ship      When Sam ventured into the centre of
          arrived at Port Melbourne, and Sam
          ventured into the city centre he was
          aghast at the standard of the picture  Melbourne he was aghast at the standard
          theatres. “The Americans have beaten
          me!” he exclaimed.                    of the picture theatres. “The Americans
            Sam’s next plan was to open a
          cinema-cabaret in Rathdowne Street,   have beaten me!”
          North Carlton. Although nitrate film
          was on the way out by this time, the
          Victorian Health Department public
          building regulations still prohibited
          such a venture. This, along with the
          rigid and constraining film distribution
          system, which had been the subject of a
          Royal Commission as far back as 1927,
          somewhat shattered Sam's dream.
            Instead, he set up a photographic
          studio in St.Kilda, where he made the
          occasional 16mm training and
          promotional film.
            Sam attended Cinema Pioneers
          meetings for many years and
          photographed many now long deceased
          members, thereby leaving us an
          important photographic record.
            I would see him from time to time,
          often at the Camberwell Photographic
          Fair where he and his wife had a stall.
            After Sam’s wife died in the late
          90s, Sam moved into a nursing home in
          Caulfield. I last visited him at the end
          of 2000. Sam passed away early in
          2003, retaining his interest in cinema
          and photography till the very end.  ★

                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2008     9
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