Roy Dart

Sorry been very busy so have not had a chance to send anything through. The message below gives a rough CV so I’ll try to give some stories in sequence. If some is a little vague put it down to old age. The last time I was in a box as a projectionist was in the late 50’s when I worked in the Astra in RAF Compton Basset while doing my national service. At the age of 13/14 I was doing tea and holiday relief at various cinemas woned by H&G enterprises. The Academy Leytonstone was one of the better cinemas they owned. We actually ran a Sunday programme and then a whole week plus Saturday morning pictures. During the week we ran two features, a short and a newsreel. We were the first cinema in the area to show 3D using the 2 projector polaroid system and polaroid glasses. It was a nightmare. We didn’t have 3 phase main to link the projectors but had a bar that linked the 2. It did mean that when we started the projectors we had to be pretty good at starting at the same time. The first time we didn’t and the bar just twisted. Also when we made the programmes up which consisted of 3D ads as well, we had to make sure that both reels were identical. We didn’t have a synchroniser that I was to use later as a film editor and the first time we ran the show we had joined the reels up two frames out of synch so that everyone had four legs when they walked. On another occasion we put the filters in front of the portholes the wrong way round. We weren’t wearing the glasses and the manager rushed up to say there was nothing on the screen. Obviously as we had both filters the opposite way round they were cancelling out the glasses. Other things that happened which were amusing!! On one occasion we had lost the cinema cat. (All cinemas in our area had cats to keep the mice down) We eventually found him stiff as a poker in the boiler room where the auxilliary batteries were for the emergency lighting. He’d peed on the battery and given himself an electric shock. We also had a 3rd projectionis that was very camp, long before today’s legislation. He wanted to sell the ices so one day as he was walking down the aisle we put a slide up that said “our lovely salesgirl is now coming down the aisle with ices, sweets and chocolates” What would have happened to us today? On another occasion during Saturday morning pictures we had a miserable manager that hated the kids shouting and booing during the western chases. He would come out and tell them to keep quiet. As soon as he went away I used to come out of the box and lead them on again.

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