Friday, 23 December 2011

Mystery film: 5

We're back this week with the last mystery film of 2011! You can mull over this Christmas edition over the Christmas week; answers will be posted in the New Year.

You know how it works by now: post your guesses either here in the comments, on twitter or on our facebook page.

From all of us here at the Regal, we hope you have a very Happy Christmas.
See you in the New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is almost upon us, so this seems like a good time to wish everyone who has been following the progress of the project in 2011 a very Merry holiday!

We've got some more exciting blog posts planned for the new year, including spotlights on some of the features that are being renovated or reinstated in the restoration project, more film trivia, more behind-the-scenes from the cinema during the work, competitions with actual real prizes and more! So make sure you keep following us in 2012, especially on the run up to the re-opening later in the year.

Have a great holiday everyone, and we'll see you in the New Year!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Object of the Week 5: Revealed!

Just the one guess this week, but one that was spot on! Steve on the blog correctly identified the mystery equipment as being a sound amplifier. By the time the Regal opened in 1937, the most widely accepted type of soundtracks for film were included on the film itself, rather than on a record that was played alongside the film.

Here are a couple of close photos of the switches. The word 'Duosonic' referred to the sound input coming from both of the projectors; you can see the switch at the top of the left-hand picture, which was used to swap the sound input from the left to the right projector as you changed reels. The right-hand photo shows the model name of the amplifier.

The projectors and the sound equipment fitted into the cinema originally were of Gaumont-Kalee manufacture. Although we don't know exactly when this amplifier was fitted into the cinema, we know it was in use by 1951. The wear marks on the top of the amplifier are a particularly nice reminder of the many times a projectionist has leant onto the box during a show.

The short video below is a promotional film reel which would have played in cinemas using Gaumont-Kalee equipment; it may have played at the Regal.

We hope you enjoyed this week's mystery object, the last of 2011! There'll be a mystery film to last you over the Christmas break and we'll be back again with more objects from the Regal in the New  Year.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Object of the Week 5

Another in-situ object today. I think this is probably one of those 'you either know it or you don't' type of objects, but we'll see how well you all do!

I know it looks a bit like a vending machine, but I promise you it isn't! What do you think it is?

Guesses anytime between now and about midday on Monday, either through facebook, twitter or the blog comments here.

Happy guessing!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A bit of a mix-up

As Christmas is approaching I thought now was a good time to provide you all with some film-related fun for the holiday season. So, here are a couple of anagram activities to keep you all amused whilst you're waiting for the holiday to begin!

This first sheet is designed for children; all of the films are children's films, and the spacings are all in the right places. Children of all ages are welcome to play along, of course, even the big kids!

This second sheet is a little harder; more general films, and with the spaces in all of the wrong places (not even the right number of spaces in most cases, in fact). Well, you wouldn't want it to be too easy, would you?

You should be able to print out both sheets for entertainment away from the computer, but if you're having trouble send me an email at and I'll email you over a pdf version.

If you can complete them all, you win the satisfaction of knowing you got them all right! And it'll be good practice; hopefully we'll have more of this sort of game in the New Year, next time with actual prizes!

If you'd like an answer sheet, send me an email and I'll send one back over to you.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Mystery film: 4 - revealed!

We're a day late with our reveal this week due to some technical difficulties, but as it's given some more of you a chance to guess the film I don't think that's too much of a bad thing!

Congratulations this week go to Steve on the blog and Mandy and David on facebook for correctly identifying the film as the classic "It's A Wonderful Life". In a recent poll, the film was named the public's favourite Christmas film of all time.

We'll have one more mystery film for you before Christmas, another Christmas-theme, coming up a week on Friday. Before that, this Friday you'll have your last mystery object of 2011!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Mystery film: 4

We're back this week with another mystery film; to celebrate the greats of film history, we're taking iconic scenes from films and putting them up onto our miniature Regal screen. All you have to do is tell me what film they're from. The projectionist in our hand-drawn Regal doesn't seem to be very good at focussing the lens in the projector as the picture looks rather blurry... I'm sure you'll manage to guess the film anyway!

This week and in a fortnight we've got a special Christmas edition for you! Can you guess the Christmassy film?

You know how it works by now: post your guesses either here in the comments, on twitter or on our facebook page.

I'll put up the answer on Monday, and credit all the correct guessers then.


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Poles, planks and ladders

Well ladies and gentlemen, it's the moment you've all been waiting for.

That's right - this is the post about scaffolding!

If you've been in Tenbury recently you'll have seen the scaffolding going up around the outside of the Regal. Just in case you haven't been to Tenbury, here's a picture for you to see what the building looks like swaddled in planks, poles and blue netting.

But really, the scaffold on the outside of the building is nothing compared to the scale of the transformation that has gone on inside of the auditorium.

(Click here for a larger version of the panorama)

This picture doesn't really do it justice; the room feels entirely transformed with the wood and metal all around the walls and ceiling. The scaffold isn't quite finished yet in this picture, though you can see the general shape of it. When finished, it will provide the workmen access to the roof and the walls. The double levels of height around the side give good access to the mural for the work that will be carried out to them later in the restoration (as one of the later things to happen, work on the murals will be started after Christmas).

One of the most surprising things to see was just how many pieces go together to make the scaffolding. These pictures show just some of the poles and connectors that haven't yet been put together. It looked like a giant meccano set!

Within the scaffolding, ladders are used to get between the different heights. Here's one of the ladders, leading up to the first floor of the scaffold (where the chair is). The auditorium slopes, of course, so what is near the floor height at the back is above my head height at the front.

I hoped you enjoyed the pictorial tour of scaffolding! This is all staying up during the mural painting phase, so until well after Christmas. So don't be surprised if you see more photos of scaffolding in the future!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Object of the Week 4: Revealed

We had some excellent thoughts this week on what that mystery record was all about. Well done to Ian and Stephen on twitter and Kate on the blog for knowing that it was a record and making some good guesses as to its use.

No-one quite managed to guess the real story behind the record though, so here goes!

The record lives in a cabinet in the projector room, which has this fantastic notice on it:

That's right - the record was the fire alarm! A lot of early cinemas weren't fitted with fire alarms for fear that it would panic the audience if it went off. At the Regal, staff would be made aware of a fire by the playing of 'Going Home' from the film 'Local Hero' across the cinema's audio system. We're not sure what happened before the release of Local Hero, or whether they had a back-up song for when Local Hero was showing that week!

As you can see from the picture above, the record was a special cinema release. Cinemas were sent music from films by the film distributors to play before and after the presentation reel, to set the mood for the films and, we suppose, to act as some kind of advertising.

Film soundtracks were (and still are in some cases) read on an optical track from the film itself. After Christmas I'll put up a blog post all about film soundtracks, for those of you who are interested!

Back to the fire alarm; you'll all be glad to know that the Regal does have a proper fire alarm these days, with flashing red lights and noisy sirens. The record still lives in the cabinet though, just in case.

We hope you enjoyed this week's mystery object; this Friday we'll have a Christmassy mystery film for you to guess!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Object of the Week 4

This week we've got a photograph of an object in-situ at the cinema for you.

This might seem like an odd choice of object, but there is a story behind it! Guess away and see if you can figure it out.

We'll post up the answer on Monday.

Have a good weekend everyone!