Page 17 - CR
P. 17

At Adelaide’s modern Mercury
                                                                               Cinema, Paul and I worked as
                                                                               projectionists - but when Nova and
                                                                               Palace announced their proposed
                                                                               building of Art House Cinemas in the
                                                                               East End it signaled the end of the
                                                                               Mercury as a full time Art House
                                                                               venue. Paul resigned sighting full time
                                                                               employment with Palace.
                                                                                  Mercury manager Adel Hann said
                                                                               she would miss “The Tooth Fairy” as
                                                                               he always was a pleasant member of
                                                                                  Adel said to me at the last screening
                                                                               it would be nice to play the Elvis
                                                                               Finale at Madison Square Garden and I
                                                                               agreed, but where was I going to get
                                                                               the soundtrack? Was it ever released on
                                                                               CD? A mate suggested a CD shop at
                                                                               Hyde Park, specializing in soundtrack
                                                                               music and I was in luck.
            Bob recalls that at interval Paul  intermittently involved with every
          showed the slides then with blank tape  aspect of running the theatre.
          spliced into the tape recorder allowing  Accomplished at the piano, he was
          just enough time for the trailers to  known to play the theatre’s Christie
          screen, the curtains then closed and the  organ which is a true event and unique
          remainder of the soundtrack played, the  to the Capri.
          lights dimmed and in the instant the
          auditorium blacked out, the curtains
          parted and the locomotive roared out of
          the tunnel and the audience was
          instantly reunited with the plot. Paul
          knew only film can excite an audience
          in such a way, stage shows will never
          compete on that level.
            Over the years Paul and I constantly
          crossed paths, especially at the Capri
                                                                                  On the final day of the Mercury as
          Theatre (Goodwood) - the last built by
                                                                               a full time and permanent ‘Art House’ I
          Dan Clifford, but now owned and home
                                                                               took a photo of Paul at the candy bar /
          of the Theatre Organ Society of
                                                                               box office. Paul then took one of me
          Australia (S.A. Division). Paul was not                              standing proudly near a Simplex
                                               Graham Kenefick served on the
          only a committee member, but also                                    projector in the bio box while the
                                            TOSA committee with Paul and when
          wrote the “TOSA News” and was                                        credits rolled at the end of the
                                            asked if there was a special showing
                                                                               screening. I briefly delayed the curtain
                                            that stands out as spectacular Graham
                                                                               close as the drums rolled & rolled the
                                            said “Paul had his heart in every
                                                                               curtains closed with curtain lights half
                                                                               bright and that GREAT announcement
                                               When Motorfest hired the Glenelg
                                                                               played: ‘LADIES & GENTLEMEN
                                            Town Hall, owners proudly brought
                                                                               ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING –
                                            along their old amateur 16mm film
                                                                               THANK YOU & GOODNIGHT’!
                                            with various speeds and sound tracks.
                                                                                  Many years ago in the State
                                            Film Historian, David Donaldson
                                                                               Theatre Projection Room when Paul
                                            recalls it was quite a challenge, but was
                                                                               and I only dreamed of becoming
                                            relieved when Paul arrived
                                                                               projectionists, Paul said to me ‘Old
                                            unannounced with additional projectors
                                                                               projectionist never die!…. They just
                                            - and “that’s how we got to be friends”.
                                                                               change over’.
                                            Top: Kingswood Vogue Proscenium.
                                            Left & Above: Goodwood Capri & Organ.      Paul Lawrence
                                            Right: Mercury Cinema exterior.
                                            Title Photo of Paul at the Mercury kindly  1945 – 2010
                                            provided by Jeffrey Weare.
                                            Photos courtesy Colin Flint & Kevin Adams.  © 2010 J.A. Wheare
                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2010 17
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