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Britain From Above


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With hours of fun trying to identify the unknown ones from around the UK!

Having tried to decipher the user licence details, I'd say the same applies as to the Picture Sheffield material, i.e. we can post links but not reproduce images on here. Anyone read it differently?

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History dude

Not very good at the moment it's crashing a lot! Searches for by name hopeless at the moment, all due to the first day of operation!

Got on about 124 images of Sheffield. Lots of snow pictures and of course some great pictures of the Manor estate, showing the MASSIVE chimney belonging to Woodthorpe Colliery. Prince Edward school being built, and just a single carriageway for Prince of Wales Road.

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hilldweller

Lots of amazing aerial photo's of Sheffield in the 1920's or so, have just been published by English Heritage.

www.britainfromabove.org.uk

HD

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With hours of fun trying to identify the unknown ones from around the UK!

Having tried to decipher the user licence details, I'd say the same applies as to the Picture Sheffield material, i.e. we can post links but not reproduce images on here. Anyone read it differently?

I've emailed them for clarification on whether we can post images or just links.

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Topically the current splash screen shows the Wimbledon tournament in 1921. There's a lot of houses gone since then!

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History dude

The photo's of the Manor from 1927 are just brilliant :)

There's one that shows Stand House Farm and it's out buildings! :o

Another shows Manor Cinema under construction, going up the same time as Prince of Wales school :)

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The photo's of the Manor from 1927 are just brilliant :)

There's one that shows Stand House Farm and it's out buildings! :o

Another shows Manor Cinema under construction, going up the same time as Prince of Wales school :)

If Manor Cinema (Manor Picture Palace) was being built in 1927 I wonder if they took into account the coming of the "talkies" and build the cinema with sound equipment for the new craze.

In America, this was the film premiere of the year

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History dude

Malcom Mercer in the Manor Memories, Prince Edward School, Part 1, says the Junior A department of the school was opened in February 1928. The photo shows the school still under construction, so I have no reason to doubt the 1927 date of these photos. The aerial ones on Picture Sheffield are clearly a few years later. From what I can see on the 1927 picture, the main front of the cinema is up, just a lot more work on the back needed.

At that early date I doubt any cinema in the UK was designed with sound from a film in mind. They were not even certain it would catch on and be used in all films. It wouldn't have been too difficult to add sound to a cinema, as it would only need a loudspeaker adding somewhere. Cinemas were designed like music halls in anycase, so that an organ or piano etc could be heard by the public. Wasn't it also the case that someone would sometimes come on in front of the screen to make special anoucements etc, so they were designed with the radition of sound in mind, just not from a film.

The biggest problem for Cinema design was screen size. But in 1927 that was Television size, 1/33 or 4.3 as it's called now. If you look at early picture screens they look like TV sets of the 50's and 60's! :)

When we watch a film from that time the screen is masked at the sides, to cut of the curved corners of the film. Such a pitty they do that :(

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At that early date I doubt any cinema in the UK was designed with sound from a film in mind. They were not even certain it would catch on and be used in all films. It wouldn't have been too difficult to add sound to a cinema, as it would only need a loudspeaker adding somewhere. Cinemas were designed like music halls in anycase, so that an organ or piano etc could be heard by the public. Wasn't it also the case that someone would sometimes come on in front of the screen to make special anoucements etc, so they were designed with the radition of sound in mind, just not from a film.

I don't think the conversion to sound in cinemas was quite as simple as you make out here History Dude,

The acoustics of the building would be OK, because as you have said they already had sound systems for announcements and silent films usually had a live musical accompanyment, often from a piano played by a resident theatre pianist.

But there is more to it than "just adding a loudspeaker".

The projector itself had to be designed to show sound films and had to be compatible with the system used (just as video had VHS and BetaMax 50 years later)

The Jolson film used the Western Electric sysstem with a silent film and the sound on a set of large gramophone records which were close synchronised with the pictures because a single motor powered both the film transport and the recors turntable, so if the film slowed down or speeded up slightly so did the sound, in step with it to maintain synchronisation. Unfortunately discs played for a shorter time than a reel of film so, Jolsons film was basically a silent film with just a few short synchronised sound interludes.

By 1928 two different "sound on film" methods had developed which allowed feature length sound feature films (one of the first in 1928 being the film "Sunny Side Up") with perfect synchronisation throughout as both sound and pictures were locked together on the same piece of film. One system used a magnetic stripe sondtrack, - a bit like tape recorders use and the other, more successful and later universally used system for commercial films used an optical stripe which was recorded photographically onto the film. In both cases it was essential that the film moved intermittently, a frame at a time to project the pictures but that the sound track was running at a constant speed to maintain sound fidelity. This required that a particular frame image had its sound not along side it but several frames ahead of it. This seperation had to be standardised and this was not done for some time.

All this meant that to show a sound film a cinema had to have the correct projection equipment and as this was large, expensive and almost a permenant part of the building it was often installed when the cinema was built, - hence my original comment about had they thought of sound.

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The biggest problem for Cinema design was screen size. But in 1927 that was Television size, 1/33 or 4.3 as it's called now. If you look at early picture screens they look like TV sets of the 50's and 60's! :)

When we watch a film from that time the screen is masked at the sides, to cut of the curved corners of the film. Such a pitty they do that :(

TV inherited the 4:3 format fvrom the cinema which was fair enough, - it meant that films could be shown on TV and the image would fit the screen

However, in the 1950's as TV became more popular and cinema audiences started to decline as a result, cinema started to introduce new widescreen formats such as Cinerama, CinemaScope, Panavision, Todd AO, etc.

As History Dude says this created problems for many existing cinemas as the larger screen would not easily fit the existing building without resorting to actually reducing the screen size rather than increasing it.

It also created problems for standard 4:3 TV screens, meaning either the loss of both ends of the picture off the screen, or alternatively a smaller picture with a black margin above and below, often referred to as "letterbox format"

It was years before TV moved into widescreen formats and on TV today some form of widescreen is now the norm.

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Malcom Mercer in the Manor Memories, Prince Edward School, Part 1, says the Junior A department of the school was opened in February 1928. The photo shows the school still under construction, so I have no reason to doubt the 1927 date of these photos. The aerial ones on Picture Sheffield are clearly a few years later. From what I can see on the 1927 picture, the main front of the cinema is up, just a lot more work on the back needed.

I must have a look at these pictures, they really do sound excellent.

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hilldweller

At that early date I doubt any cinema in the UK was designed with sound from a film in mind. They were not even certain it would catch on and be used in all films. It wouldn't have been too difficult to add sound to a cinema, as it would only need a loudspeaker adding somewhere. Cinemas were designed like music halls in anycase, so that an organ or piano etc could be heard by the public. Wasn't it also the case that someone would sometimes come on in front of the screen to make special anoucements etc, so they were designed with the radition of sound in mind, just not from a film.

According to my copy of "In Memory of Sheffield Cinemas" the Manor Cinema was built with a large stage within a 23 foot proscenium opening to accomodate a large orchestra.

A flyer for the opening night states " Will be run as a Family House, where Dad can bring his better half, accompanied by the young hopefuls, to enjoy good pictures, with music by a competent orchestra, under the leadership of Mr. Max Elder"

12th December 1927.

At the popular prices 4d 6d 9d and 1/-.

HD

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According to my copy of "In Memory of Sheffield Cinemas" the Manor Cinema was built with a large stage within a 23 foot proscenium opening to accomodate a large orchestra.

A flyer for the opening night states " Will be run as a Family House, where Dad can bring his better half, accompanied by the young hopefuls, to enjoy good pictures, with music by a competent orchestra, under the leadership of Mr. Max Elder"

12th December 1927.

At the popular prices 4d 6d 9d and 1/-.

HD

Thanks HD,

Sounds like the Manor picture palace was originally built, despite the time and what was happening in the advent of cinema technology, as a silent cinema and obviously converted to sound at a later date then.

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History dude

Thanks HD,

Sounds like the Manor picture palace was originally built, despite the time and what was happening in the advent of cinema technology, as a silent cinema and obviously converted to sound at a later date then.

That was the case, as The Jazz Singer had its premiere at the Piccadilly Theatre in London on September 27, 1928. I can confirm that Manor Cinema was converted in April 1930 to sound. The equipement installed was a British Acoustic system.

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That was the case, as The Jazz Singer had its premiere at the Piccadilly Theatre in London on September 27, 1928. I can confirm that Manor Cinema was converted in April 1930 to sound. The equipement installed was a British Acoustic system.

Thanks for the dates and info there history dude,

Looks like the Manor was built at an unfortunate time, opening as a silent cinema just within the last year or so of the silent era and then having to modify to the new sound systems needed for the talkies.

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