Page 16 - CR
P. 16

A Passion

                                   for Projection

               Paul Brenton Lawrence

                             2nd July 1945  –  27th March 2010

                 An Adelaide Picture Show Man - as remembered by Jeffrey Wheare

           remember meeting Paul in late 1966 or  “Wests have a small black and   Paul established his dentistry
         Iearly 1967 he was studying dentistry  white introduction, welcoming patrons  practice at the MLC building on the
          and I was assistant projectionist at  to the biggest 70mm screen in  corner of Hindley and King William
          Adelaide’s State Theatre for Greater  Australia! The change/over from the  street- just a few doors east of the State
          Union who also programmed the Wests  35mm Kalee projectors to the big  Theatre. He practiced dentistry during
          and Sturt theatres.               70mm Cinemeccanica machines was    the day and at night he was “The
                                            very memorable: in an instant the  Picture Show Man” showing film.
            The motion picture industry was
                                            masking opened up (top and sideways)
          experiencing a new surge in popularity                                  The Clifford Theatre Circuit
                                            and 6 tracks of sound switched in! I
          with epic 70mm productions and big                                   operated a chain of ‘Hard Tops’ (as
                                            went down to check it out and it truly
          screen presentation.                                                 well as Starline Drive-Ins). Bob Parr
                                            was a spectacular event!
            In Adelaide, August 1967, I was 18                                 convinced management to re-open the
          and Paul 20. The State screened ‘The                                 Vogue Theatre, Kingswood full time.
          Great St. Trinian’s Train Robbery’, and                                 I remember the theatre was a time
          the at the Paris, ‘The Sound of Music’                               capsule having opened on July 12th
          (in 70mm & six track stereo sound)                                   1939, it was in original condition and
          was in its 80th week! Wests 70mm,                                    would have made a perfect movie set.
          showed ‘Casino Royal’-‘5th BIG                                          After being trained by the late Bob
          WEEK’ and at the Sturt ‘A Man For                                    Wilson at West’s Theatre in Hindley
          All Seasons’.                                                        Street, Paul’s first paid employment
            The Metro screened Disney’s                                        with the film industry was at the Vogue
          ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’;                                   in January 1968 showing “A Man For
          the 70mm Fair Lady Theatre ‘The                                      All Seasons”.
          Family Way’ and at the Forum (70mm)                                     Paul jumped at the opportunity
          ‘The Blue Max’ – except for Disney                                   when the MGM movie ‘Doctor
          (1934), they were all first release                                  Zhivago’ was billed in there.
            Adelaide had many other cinemas
          and two suburban circuits Ozone      At the old Regent there was a small
          (Hoyts) and the Clifford Theatre  screen lowered in front of the main
          Circuit (GU) as well the Drive-ins of  curtain exclusively for slides & film
          Wallis and Clifford’s.            advertising. At the Metro ‘Theatre of
                                            the Stars’- twinkling stars were
            Meanwhile, the big Hoyts Regent
                                            projected onto the ceiling and when
          was unfortunately undergoing a refit
                                            they finally twinkled out, up went the
          with the stalls being converted into a
                                            curtain & the MGM lion roared.
          shopping arcade - retaining the ornate
          circle as a 70mm cinema and moving   Paul was wrapped in theatre
          the Wurlitzer organ to St.Peters  presentation. At the State the curtains
          College.                          always opened on the feature, even if
                                            we were short of time they closed at the
            Paul was no stranger to all the
                                            end of the trailers & instantly reopened
          projection rooms around town, his love
                                            on the feature. Paul eventually talked
          was showing film - not dentistry.
                                            his way into being allowed to do a
            Presentation was always a hot topic!
                                            change-over, as I am sure he had at
                                            every theatre!

          16  2010 CINEMARECORD
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