Preserving the magic of cinema since 1978

PPT web magazine


Looking for projection equipment?

Malcolm Plant is selling his projector collection at auction on 27 January. Charles Hanson (no relation to Dion) is handling the auction.
The catalogue can be viewed here.



FP 20

We have recently received a very nice FP20 we plan to keep. This means that the one we used to use as our test machine is now surplus to requirements as we need the space.

It is free to anyone willing to give it a good home although a donation would always be welcome.

Contact Dion Hanson on: 0116 279 3222 or

Thank you Sound Associates

Dion Hanson

Kalee projector

A Kalee projector, which has been on loan to the British Universities and Colleges Film and Video Council's Learning on Screen for many years, has now been returned to us. Since we didn't have any manpower available, Graham Lodge of Sound Associates kindly agreed to collect and store it for us until we can get around to picking it up from them.

Ben Hodson, senior administration assistant at Learning on Screen, sent these pictures of the assembly being dismantled and loaded for transportation to Sound Associates.




The three camera and projector system brought real big screen spectacle to cinemas.


Power to the people

David A Ellis

Power's projector

One of the earliest projectors to serve the amusement needs of cinemagoers was the Power’s, which was introduced to the UK around 1909 by the Walturdaw Co Ltd which had premises in London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Cardiff. In October 1911 466 projectors were sold by the company. This was the Cameragraph number six.
The company was American and run by Nicholas Power. A report in the Bioscope from 1919 says the size of the factory had been increased and had sold 1700 machines to overseas buyers alone. It stated that many British Cinemas had installed them.

In 1927 it was reported that the company had been evolving a new gate for the machine to counteract excessive heat on the gate through the increase in the use of high intensity and mirror arcs. The report went on to say that the new gate had been perfected and would be available to fit on existing machines, at least in America and, in due course, the UK. The new gate had several new features, which included air spaces between film pads and pad holders. There was an eye shield to protect the operator's eyes from the glare spot. Also, there were heat insulators ensuring fingers were not burnt. A protector was used for the lower loop under the gate.

It was a complete assembly composing of three separate plates. One was a heavy grid iron plate facing the light source. Another carried the gate latch, the upper film shield and idler roller and the steel plate which carried the tension shoes and springs. In between the plates were air spaces to allow cooling.

Bakelite was used to insulate the plates. The gate latch was also insulated in a similar way. This improvement meant that the hands of the operator were protected from hot metal. The eye shield was a square tube with the two sides filled with ruby glass, which was just hooked on to a rod immediately above the automatic fire shutter and could be instantly attached or removed. The fire shutter had also been re-designed so that it raised and lowered perfectly at all times from a rate of fifty film feet per minute upwards, and there was no danger of it becoming bound in the bearings.

One of their machines was called the Power's number six and like most manufacturers they claimed it would deliver the best projection. One advert stated: "Its tremendous throw gives it preference over any other projector on the market." Another ad stated: "A good production with a famous star, well-advertised, a comfortable house and efficient orchestra are worth nothing unless your projection is of the best. To obtain this, all you require is the Power's No 6 Projector." By 1928 Power's 6B projector installations included the Paramount in Paris and the Carlton theatre, London.

Power's projectors, together with a wide range of other 35mm projectors, are featured in our Rewind complilation of 35mm projectors that PPT members can view in our Members' zone

The popular Simplex projector

David A Ellis


The American Simplex projectors, made in New York by the International Projection company, were installed in a number of super cinemas including the Paramount and Roxy in New York. They were also distributed worldwide.


Kent’s Museum of the Moving Image


Opened just last year, and built and developed over the past few years from a former care home, the museum consists of a permanent collection plus visiting exhibitions.

The museum is well worth a visit. Its standards of display, interpretation, captioning, lighting and curation are superb. Only two minutes walk from Deal Station at 41 Stanhope Road, the museum has a book and gift shop and a café serving drinks and snacks. It is open all year, fridays to sundays and Bank Holidays from 11am- 6pm May to September, and 12am - 5pm October to April.

Further information is on their website:

Early cinema projection

David A Ellis

In the silent days before 1910, the projectionist was in the auditorium with the patrons. The projector would be in the aisle and the operator would operate the projector by turning a handle. The film would usually fall into a basket. The film was nitrate base so could easily go up in flames. This happened on numerous occasions.


Sounds dear - the cost of sound in 1930

David A Ellis

By 1930 sound was making a big noise in the world of film and there were several manufacturers making equipment for the age of movie sound. This of course came at a heavy price, which no doubt left many independent exhibitors worrying about the cost, just like they did when CinemaScope with four tracks arrived and other cinematic advances, the latest being the high cost of digital.


PPT President Sir Sydney Samuelson CBE BSC Hon FBKS

An interview by David A Ellis

Sydney Wylie Samuelson was born on 7 December 1925, the son of film pioneer, producer and writer George Berthold Samuelson (1889-1947), who created Worton Hall and Southall Studios. Worton Hall in Isleworth housed one of the earliest film production companies in the UK.


Milestone for Bradford Live’s Odeon project

A MILESTONE has been reached in the transformation of Bradford’s former Odeon building into a live music venue. The painstaking work to strip out the steel and concrete partitions that divided the 1930s building has been completed – allowing the full height and width of the original auditorium to be fully realised for the first time in five decade.

The Bradford Telegraph and Argos coverage with many stunning pictures can be seen here.




The Roxy New York

David A Ellis


One of the most luxurious and appointed cinema houses of all time was the Roxy in New York, which opened its doors on 11 March 1927. Designed by Walter W Ahlschlager it was reputed to have cost the staggering sum of ten million dollars,an astronomical sum back in the 1920s.


Lost movies: silent and sound

David A Ellis

Moving pictures have been around since 1896. Since then an amazing amount of footage has rolled through the cameras, producing some great movies, both silent and sound. Sadly, much of the footage has been destroyed in some way, or lost, possibly tucked away in someone's attic or shed.


David A Ellis

David's name has appeared on many articles in Rewind and within this website. We asked him to let us have details of his background and interest in cinema.

I was interested in the cinema from an early age and would often go to our local cinema, now long gone. It was called the Grand but didn't quite live up to its name. I remember my first visit was to see the 1953 film The Conquering of Everest. I was one of a bunch of school kids from the infant school, which was next door. I think it was this visit that sowed the seed. the Grand, which I was fond of, closed in 1961 with Carry on Regardless.


New cinema history book


Former managing editor of Cinema Technology magazine, Jim Slater, and cinema enthusiast and historian Grant Lobban have put together a technical book containing a wealth of illustrations, many of which are actual clips from the films being discussed. With the inclusion of many stories from the authors’ own expansive careers, the book has at heart a personal touch and promises to delight all readers from the student seeking knowledge of expert film restoration to the film enthusiast wanting to know more.

All Shapes and Sizes is a real blockbuster of a book, taking the reader on an action-packed journey through the history of film and television. Highly readable and copiously illustrated, it explains the different technologies involved in a manner that is understandable to the novice while giving enough detail to satisfy the expert and the enthusiast.

The book could make an excellent Christmas present for anyone with even the slightest interest in cinema.

All Shapes and Sizes, An illustrated history of film in cinema and television
Jim Slater and Grant Lobban
Hardback (approx A4) 277 pages £24.99
ISBN: 9781789821499
Publisher AG Books, Andrews UK Ltd.
Available from Amazon
or from WH Smith or 01980 610544


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