The Projected Picture Trust

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PPT activities

A brief look at of some of the trust's recent activities.

Halloween screening at the Abbeydale, Sheffield 

Dion reports on the show at the Abbeydale on Friday 29 October

The main auditorium is closed due to an unsafe ceiling and so the stage area has now become the Flytower theatre. Consequently when we were asked by Joe of Reel Steel to screen two films for his Halloween event we had to work out a way to run 35mm in the venue. The films were to be Hellraiser and Candyman.

The idea was to bring along the Portacine with a tower and using a CP65 into their sound system. However, with space constraints we went with a Cinemeccanica V4 and having mid-feature intermissions to help their bar sales. 

The pictures show the kit arriving in the back of my car (with Tom and I) and being mounted on a platform at the rear of the screening room. Then me installing and equalising the sound. We went with L-C-R through their system and used our surrounds through a separate amplifier at the rear of the theatre. And finally on the night Allan projecting the films. 

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Busy packing

Some of the sixty five 35mm feature films we packed for Contemporary films to go to the States'

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Shock Horror

The PPT has provided a projector, magazines, films and cans, as well one of the seats out of our theatre, for the filming of video clips for the stage show Shock Horror.

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Abbeydale Picture House, Sheffield

On 14 July Tom and Dion went to the Abbeydale Picture House Sheffield to look at the possibility of showing 35mm on the large stage area, since the auditorium is now closed due to the main ceiling failing a safety inspection. We took the Portacine and ran both scope and widescreen ratio films for Joe our client from Reel Steel. The trial was a success and so hopefully we will be showing films again at the Abbeydale in the not too distant future (see Abbeydale article above).

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Rob Younger provided the photos of the world premiere of The Railway Children at Keighley on 3 July. 

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Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead

Urban-Smith Kinemacolor projector now back home on display in the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead following restoration by the PPT in Elstree.

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Member activities

A look at what is happening with some of the trust's members.

Rob Younger: independent cinema director

The Gaumont Barnsley opened in 1956, was renamed Odeon in 1962 and twinned in 1980. It closed in 2005. Rob was a projectionist at the Odeon. Parkway Cinemas reopened the cinema on 8 August 2007. Rob is one of the directors of Parkway and their projection engineer. He has installed 70mm in the downstairs cinema, which was originally the stalls, using the original screen. The two cinemas are digital but are both still equipped for film presentations.

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And a short video showing a 70mm print of Tenet being projected...

Bob Mandry: badge man

Bob writes​:

I started collecting cinema equipment plates after my first visit to the Cinema Museum in 2018. Ronald Grant had two boards full of incredible plates that brought back memories of my youth working at the Ritz and Odeon in Southend. 

It was a very modest affair for the first year as I scoured Ebay and other places for new additions but as I became more involved with the PPT, Cinema Museum and the CTA other sources of material presented themselves. People like Nigel Wollard and Alex Cooper have been very helpful in assisting me with several of these items but others have come from as far away as the USA. Thus the door to my office has gone from very humble beginnings with a lot of duplication to the present state where I am approaching full capacity and only two items duplicated. 

There are plenty of items I would like to place on the door if they can be located but I am now having to think what provision to make when the door is full. I do have one or two items that do not fit on the door such as a Peerless Magnarc  nameplate for which I have made a small lightbox to display it. A lot of the items I am searching for will fit on easily such as the badges for Brenkert, Walturdaw 5, Ross GC and DP70 mechs, a Vulcan Arc nameplate and a Duosonic Cabinet badge. However the white back plates from Lightmaster and  President Arc lamps will need to be displayed elsewhere - and who knows what else might turn up apart from these items! 

If you can help Bob with his search for badges please email him at bm@theppt.org

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Philips DP70 dual 70/35mm projector on show at new Curzon

Nigel Wooland writes:

I took these photos at the new four Screen Curzon Cinema at the Bentall Centre in Kingston which opened on Friday 11 November. They will also have an open air cinema on the roof which opens next year. Unfortunately they got the plate wrong, as the Odeon Leicester Square did not have DP70s. I was told this machine was originally in the Royalty Kingsway. 

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The PPT collection

The PPT has an extensive collection of cinema equipment, largely stored at its base at Dean Clough Mills, Halifax but some is stored at Elstree and at Duxford.

Go to the collection

Video library

A collection of videos about cinemas and the people involved

Visit the Video library

Fred Fullerton videos

PPT member Fred Fullerton has produced a large number of videos over the years and we are grateful to Fred for allowing us to feature many of them here. 

Visit Fred's page

Rewind specials

These specials are versions of our Rewind magazine covering selected subjects produced for online viewing.

Click on an image to view/download. Not all browsers display pdf files correctly. You may prefer to download files and view in Adobe Acrobat viewer (downloadable here).

David A Ellis articles

David has provided a large number of articles, on a variety of subjects, for the PPT and the collection can be discovered by clicking the button.

View David's collection of articles

An introductory guide to film projection

Film projection has a long and storied history. There is a romance to film projection that is not shared with its contemporary replacement Digital Cinema–the idea that there is someone in a darkened booth cleaning and lacing the projector, changing reels and keeping an experienced eye on the focus and sound levels is a reassuring throwback to times gone by. Indeed, it took the cinema industry longer than most other entertainment industries to embrace digital technologies, but when, in the mid 2000s it finally did, the change from film to digital projection was rapid and in the space of five years digital cinema dominated the industry.
The Independent Cinema Office (one of the websites featured on our Other websites page) has published a booklet giving an overview of film projection. It was written by Dominic Simmons, and photographed by Alexa Raisbeck and Dominic Simmons.
The booklet can be viewed on the ICO website or viewed directly here. 

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