P. 10

boy of about 10 years of age, he went
                                to the then Tivoli Theatre and that this
                                second balcony, unlike the Stalls and
                                first balcony, was not accessed through
                                the foyers, but rather by climbing an
                                external staircase on the western side
                                of  the  building.  There  were  several
                                landings on the way up, each with bold
                                signs offering such encouragement as
        "Not far to go now" and "You're nearly there". Then, as if you would
        forget, on the wall inside, near the doorway at the top, a hand had been
        painted pointing to the doorway with the words, "Way Out". That sign
        was still there! It was duly photographed on this visit.

                                A really interesting room located above
                                the foyers, facing out onto Grote Street,
                                was the Board Room. The walls here
                                were covered with framed portraits of
                                some of the famous personalities that
                                have performed in this theatre over the
                                years. Included were people like Dame
                                Edna  Everage,  Slim  Dusty,  Lauren
                                Bacall, Debbie Reynolds and Angela
                                Lansbury, as well as some going back
                                to the first years of the theatre, such as
                                W.C.  Fields  (1914)  and  the  theatre's
                                first star, visiting British comedienne  The seating capacity during Hoyts’ time was listed as 1127. From a scrap
                                Lillie Langtry. A window at the eastern  book I used to keep in that era, I have found that the first movie I saw
                                end of the room provided a close-up  there was Cast a Giant Shadow on Saturday 28 October 1967, and then
                                view of the theatre's external vertical  over following months films like After The Fox, Caprice, and Flight Of
                                neon sign.                     The Phoenix. However, the one which I saw there and which has always
                                                               stood out in my mind was the fifth James Bond movie, You Only Live
        Near one end of the Board Room is a doorway leading into the projection  Twice. This was because of the contrast with watching this movie in the
        room for the theatre, where my attention was immediately drawn to the  smaller Her Majesty’s with having seen the first four Bond films in the
        large 35mm projector in the centre, flanked by large spotlights at each  luxury of the much larger Regent, usually in a pretty full house, and with
        end of the room. Closer examination revealed the projector, a Kinoton  the added attraction of Knight Barnett playing the Wurlitzer organ before
        FP38, a model not commonly found in Australia, as it could be used to  the show and at interval. You Only Live Twice ran for 11 weeks at Her
        screen  both  35  mm  and  16  mm  film  gauges.  Even  more  rare,  this  Majesty’s. The final movie shown there by Hoyts was Doctor Doolittle
        particular model had the mechanism for projecting 16 mm film on one  in January and February 1969, completing an 8 week season.
        side of the projector, with the 35 mm path on the other side. My thoughts
        turned to one of my earliest memories of Her Majesty’s, which was not
        as a live theatre, but as a cinema.

                                                                       View of extensive stage flying system

                                                               A  smaller  room,  attached  to  the  projection  room,  was  set  up  with  a
                                                               lighting control desk.
         The projection room, with Kinoton FP38 35/16 mm dual gauge projector,
        and a Xebec follow spot. Note the port glass window located near floor level  When I entered the empty stage at the other end of the theatre, I looked
                                                               out on a view of the auditorium normally reserved mostly for performers
        Back in 1967, Adelaide's unrivalled and most magnificent theatre was  - empty now, but for them usually through the glare of spotlights on a
        the Regent. This 2000 seat theatre in heart of the city in Rundle Street  house full of expectant and eager faces. There were many times when
        closed on 20 March for major alterations, which involved constructing a  mine was one of those faces, ready for a night of frivolity with Joyce
        shopping arcade through the entrance foyer and Stalls area, and creating  Grenfell, or to be taken for a journey by Flanders and Swann on that
        a much smaller cinema in the former Lounge and Dress Circle area. It  famous London Diesel Engine 97 horsepower Omnibus, even perhaps
        was to be over a year before the smaller cinema opened so, for some of  soaking up the '30s and '40s sounds of the glorious Glen Miller Orchestra,
        this time, Hoyts used Her Majesty’s as a cinema. According to Film  or enjoying the antics of Dennis Olsen, the very model of a modern Major
        Weekly and The Showman magazines, movies commenced screening there  General, or Jon English as Pooh-Bah, the Lord High Executioner and, in
        from 19 October 1967, and continued on and off until mid-February 1969.  fact, Lord High Everything Else. And to be astounded by the unamplified
        There were a few breaks for live shows, such as an Opera Season from  clarity of every word from Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones while
        the Elizabethan Trust Opera Company during the Adelaide Festival of  Driving  Miss  Daisy.  But  now,  the  stage  was  empty  -  mmm,  except
        Arts, which commenced early in March 1968 and extended through into  perhaps for "Bill".

        10   CINEMARECORD  # 99
   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15