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Thread: NE West Jesmond Cinema

  1. #1
    Hot Potato's Avatar
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    Arrow NE West Jesmond Cinema

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    Visited with stewy1984 and Mr Sweaty morph.
    It closed in 1993 and 14 years later the auditorium is gutted with no seats, the floor is rotten and the screen gone.
    So we made are way through main room and hoped the projector room was there it was and made it all worth while. There was another room with huge glass bulbs think sweaty morph got a pic to post.



    The safe it was locked and is probably full of treasure.

    Old window in projector room.

    Old projector and record player.

    Cupboard in projector room.

    Two peerless projectors.

    Some black and white snaps.


  2. #2
    stewy1984's Avatar
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    Default Re: NE West Jesmond Cinema

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    Was a good night cheers, awsome walking into the projector room and see those.

    few of my pics

    Boxes and boxes of old paper work

    Some nasty green water in there.

  3. #3
    sweaty morph's Avatar
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    Default Re: NE West Jesmond Cinema

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    Seems really untouched,not one bit of chavery at all, just really decayed.
    Some of my pics


    trashed audetourium
    Last edited by sweaty morph; August 24th, 2007 at 00:11.

  4. #4
    Hot Potato's Avatar
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    Default Re: NE West Jesmond Cinema

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    A couple more pics,and link for bit of info on area. I walked through metro tunnel just this afternoon thinking how old it looked but didnt know it was as old as 1900.
    Nasty stuff.

    Oil in one of top rooms.


    Old record player.

    And the link nearly forgot lol.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: NE West Jesmond Cinema

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    Right, I'll give you a brief run down on what I see in those shots.

    The pair of identical machines were made by the Westrex company in London, that's the same Westrex name you'll find on the credits of old films, 'Westrex Sound System'. Westrex made nearly all of the film sound recording equipment back in the day, there's still a hell of a lot of it in use.
    Both machines are Westrex Westar, the picture heads are model 2001 and the sound heads are model 2002. They are sat on standard Westrex bases, with the very common Peerless Magnarc lamphouse providing the light. From the pics the Magnarcs are not converted for xenon, they look to be still burning carbon rods.
    Interestingly, the picture heads are later versions than the sound heads, you can tell this from a; the colour of the paint (look at how the lower half of the projector is a different colour from the top) and b; one of the shots shows the film door side, you can see the sprocket drive plate for the top constant speed sprocket, only the later variants of the Westar had these adjustable sprocket drives. That makes these a fairly unusual combination, the soundheads date back to the 40's, and the picture heads are probably 60's in origin. Usually it's the other way round, as parts for the older soundheads became scarce they were replaced with later 2003 heads, with the early picture heads stuck on top.

    There are many of these machines still in use in cinemas all over the UK. The design is based on the American Century projector, which is still made today, so despite Westrex having ceased projector manufacture in the 80's, it's still possible to obtain parts easily.

    Two words of caution about this kit, firstly the cables hanging from the back of the lamphouses are asbestos covered, white asbestos, but asbestos nonetheless. Secondly the large glass object in the metal case is a mercury vapour rectifier, known as 'the mekon', if you ever see one of these things lit up you'll see why! As it's name suggests it's full of mercury, which is of course toxic.

    As to the old hand at Whitley Bay, I'm referring to an old man named Ted Reevey, there was a younger chap called Bob working there for a while, but sadly he died recently.

    The other projector isn't a motion picture projector, it's a slide lantern. Old cinemas often had these. You could project a sqaure glass slide onto the screen, often handwritten to advertise the next feature, or to convey a message to the audience.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: NE West Jesmond Cinema

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    Converse1, no SDDS is on the film itself.

    There are three digital sound systems in use today.

    Dolby Digital SR.D - By far the most common. Information is recorded on the film, between the sprocket holes, in a clever 'craughts board' pattern. It uses Dolbys AC3 compression, which is very similar to Sonys ATRAC system. Professional SR.D Dolby Digital is in no way compatible with domestic Dolby Digital, like you get on DVD players.

    SDDS - Sony Dynamic Digital Sound. Information recorded in two identical streams on the edges of the film, the idea being that you should be abel to get useable data from at least one stream. Trouble is it's the edges of 35mm film that get damaged the most. SDDS equipment is no longer made by Sony and is all but impossible to maintain now. To all intents and purposes it's a dead format, which is a shame because it sounds great and has more channels encoded than Dolby.

    DTS - Digital Theatre Systems. Sound is recorded in the good old PCM format on CDs, timecode is recorded on the film which keeps the DTS player in sync with the picture. Sounds great and the timecode track is robust, the only downside is that often the CDs do not arrive with the film print, so the audience doesn't get to hear the DTS track. The timecode on teh prints is DTS specific, so it won't allow the wrong discs to play with the film etc, and the discs cannot be played in CD player or PC, hence the system is secure from pirates.

    I pinched some more info from another site

    "Dolby Digital (DD)

    * Up to five full-range channels (L-C-R-LS-RS @ 20Hz-20kHz) and a 20-120Hz LFE channel in a 384 kbps (kilobits per second) bitstream (a single line of digital data) (Note: bitstream on a movie filmstrip is 320 kbps; DVD uses up to 448 kbps)
    * Resolution: 20-bit @ 48kHz sampling rate
    * Compression: about 11:1, by AC-3 algorithm
    * 115 dB dynamic range for LFE channel; 105 dB dynamic range for the other channels
    * Where on filmstrip: gaps between sprocket holes
    * Backup: analog tracks (Dolby SR, Dolby-A, mono)

    DTS Digital Surround

    * Up to three full-range front (L-C-R) channels, two 80Hz-20KHz surround channels and a 20-80Hz LFE channel in a 1544 kbps (or 1.544 Mbps) bitstream (laserdiscs use two bitstreams that add up to 1.544 Mbps)
    * Resolution: same as Dolby Digital
    * Compression: about 3:1, ADPCM-based
    * 96 dB dynamic range
    * Where on filmstrip: timecode along edge of film frame; it is read and synchronized with CD-ROMs on custom-made 3-disc reader
    * Backup: analog tracks (Dolby-compatible)

    SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound)

    * Up to five full-range front channels (L-LC-C-RC-R), two full-range surrounds (LS,RS) and an LFE channel (frequency range should be similar to Dolby Digital's); no information about bitrate on hand
    * Resolution: 16 bits @ 44.1 kHz sampling rate, ATRAC-based (like MiniDisc)
    * 96 dB (approx.) dynamic range
    * Where on filmstrip: on either side of sprocket holes (two separate bitstreams are offset by several frames to provide a digital backup track in case of tears or bad splices)
    * Backup: one digital bitstream (read above) plus analog tracks "

  7. #7
    alliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: NE West Jesmond Cinema

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    An interesting thing about the projection booth is its still got all the features for showing the nitrate film that was phased out in the early fifties.
    True celluloid was made of cellulose nitrate (AKA guncotton but with a lower level of nitration so it didnt explode) which is highly inflamable and in the event of a jam in the projector the film infront of the lens would often catch fire.

    the projectors have covered spools to attempt to stop a burning strip of film in front of the lens spreading to the rest of the reel (its nipped between steel fire rollers as it goes in/out of the reel cases)
    you can see the fire shutter runner infront of the window where projector shines through to the auditorium which was a line of defence if things really got out of hand and one of the pics shows a series of steel fireproof "files" for storing the film reels.

    You probably had to enter the booth through a door on the roof if it was truly original because the booth was kept totally separate from the rest of the cinema because burning nitrate produces highly toxic fumes (there was a case where a lot of people circa 80 i think were killed by fumes in a glasgow cinema early in the 20th century before regulations came in for projection booths).

    There should have been a bog in there (i think i saw a pic either in this thread or another one) so the projectionist didnt have to leave and risk something going wrong in his absence.

    Hope this is of some interest.

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