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.

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