A Visit to Manchester
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: Mike Taylor, 65/70mm Workshop, Liverpool, England||Date: 14.11.2007|
|The Print Works Multi Screen Cinema and Imax Screen. Image by Thomas Hauerslev|
The preliminary meeting for the 2008 Widescreen Weekend at the National Media Museum -Bradford took place during the 4th - 9th September 2007. This was co-ordinated by Thomas Hauerslev. This was an opportunity to meet key personnel and socialize which is not possible once the festival is underway. It also gave Thomas the chance to see something of the Yorkshire countryside with the hospitality kindly provided by Duncan McGregor - Projection Team Leader at Pictureville Cinema.
Before returning to Denmark, Thomas arranged to meet Mike Taylor - from Liverpool on the Sunday in Manchester. Mike is a member of the 65/70mm Workshop and the International Cinerama Society. He has worked as a motion picture projectionist for fortyseven years. Thomas wanted to see some of the Manchester city centre cinemas which are, sadly, no longer in use.
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|The Theatre Royal, the only Cinerama Theatre in Manchester - now a night club. Image by Thomas Hauerslev|
We started this brief tour with a visit to the Print Works Multi Screen Cinema to see the Imax Screen. The name Printworks remains from the days when the building was used for printing newspapers. Through the courtesy of the duty manageress, Thomas was introduced to the Chief Projectionist and shown around the projection room. The fact that Thomas was a visitor to this country and connected with the movie industry made all the difference. It is very rare for admission to be given to enter projection rooms in multi-plex cinemas. Thomas was rewarded with samples of Imax film for his forthcommg lecture at the 3rd Todd-AO festival in Karlsruhe.
From here it was on to the former A.B.C. Deansgate which is now a public drinking house. Next was the Theatre Royal, the only Cinerama Theatre in Manchester - now a night club. From here we came to the Odeon (ex Paramount ) closed for many years and awaiting demolition. Facing the Odeon was the site of the former Gaumont (built as a Granada) demolished, and now a multi story carpark.
|Tour guide for the day, Mike Taylor. Image by Thomas Hauerslev|
Next to the Gaumont site we saw the remains of the Picture Rouse now home to a McDonalds. These were the main former Road Show houses in Manchester, the Odeon and Gaumont and Picture Rouse all belonging to the Rank Organization. This main road - Oxford Road - also has one of the first twin cinemas in England - The Regal - built in the 1930s. Now an office block and a dance centre.
Further up the road we saw the Tatler Newsreel cinema (now part of the Art Centre Corner Rouse) which has three screens in total.
With numerous stops for photographs it caused quite a stare from passers bye on a Sunday morning in Manchester. No doubt thinking why old cinemas? After a stop for lunch at the aptly named venue Pararmount Lounge, it was time to say our farewells and look forward to Widescreen Weekend at Pictureville - Bradford - in 2008.
I hope Thomas enjoyed this little tour as much as I did – not being a native of Manchester it was certainly something different.
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