Page 16 - CinemaRecord Edition 3-2003 #41
P. 16

Interior of the Benbow plant at Knoxville, east Adelaide. These machines were turned over to Defense work when the factory was
          relocated to Pirie Street.

          Competition Intensifies
            Nineteen thirty-one was a busy time
          for all projector manufacturers and their
          advertising agents. At the start of that
          year, 837 Australian theatres were
          equipped for sound-on-disc and/or
          sound-on-film, at an average capital
          cost of £2,550 per theatre. (This
          equates to $192,000 in today’s money.)
          Weekly service charges were between
          £2 and £4 per projector! At that time,
          only 38 theatres were equipped for
          sound in South Australia.
            By this time Movietone sound-on-
          film was easing out sound-on-disc, and
          international manufacturers were
          pushing their products very hard.
          Western Electric’s advertising asked
          operators - Do you want an orphan
          projector? - warning theatre owners
          that they should not even contemplate
          locally made equipment as many
          manufacturers had already gone broke
          and consequently back-up and spare
          parts were unobtainable!

          Right: The enclosed sound head of the
          Benbow Superior.

          16  2009 CINEMARECORD
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