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I remember going to see "Earthquake" there and they had some sort of vibrating device installed along the floor under the seats. Every time the quake was was on screen they would turn it on.

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The ABC - back in the late 60's - still at school - a mate of mine worked out a way of sneaking in to the ABC. It did involve climbing a couple of walls round the back of the Cinema next to the Cavendish and in a door which, if memory serves me was always left ajar during performances. This led to the gents toilet, so when we entered the auditorium, it just looked like we had been to the loo - provided we did it singly - guys dont go to the toilet in pairs, unlike the ladies. We got away with this for several weeks and enjoyed many a free show. We did eventually get caught, and luckily instead of getting the law involved, the manage just gave us a b**king and threw us out.

Films I remember seeing there (legitimately) Day of the Jackal - only memorable cus halfway through the lights went on and the manager came on stage to ask us to leave as 'calmly as possible' - it was during the height of the IRA activities in the '70' s and they had taken a call saying there was bomb in there - tunred out to be a though.

Exorcist - only two films have genuinly scared me - this was one and the other was the start of 'Alien'

Jaws - I had just read the book and the film was already doing big business - I think that was the first time I was aware that filmmakers dont always stick to the original storyline. In the book there was an affair and sex scene between the policemans wife and the the guy played by Richard Dreyfuss - this was completly missing from the film. I read afterwards that Peter Benchley the author had also wanted to leave out this section from his manuscriopt, but the publishers insisted he keep it in 'cus no one would buy a book 'just about a fish'

Ghostbusters - cinema absolutly packed and, as mentioned in a previous post, everyone joined in with the song.

Star Trek I - The Movie - absolutly probably the most boring film I have ever seen at the cinema

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My problem was just the opposite. Being 'in the business' it was quite normal to stroll to the head of the queue and ask for complimentary tickets. The first time I took my future wife to the ABC the queue was horrendous and not wanting to seem a cheapskate, took our place at the end of a very long queue. Five minutes later the Manager, Les Allen, walked the queue saying "good evening" to everyone and gave me a right b*****ing for queueing. Must admit my other half was very impressed by the special treatment.

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I remember going to see "Earthquake" there and they had some sort of vibrating device installed along the floor under the seats. Every time the quake was was on screen they would turn it on.

It was actually the Dolby sound system, with MASSIVE speakers at each site of the screen which caused the vibration, this was a temporary sound system at the time Earthquake was shown ... notice how Earthquake never seem right when you watch it on TV at home ;)

This system really did make the auditorium feel like it was shaking!

Sure one of our resident cinema experts can tell us more.

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It was actually the Dolby sound system, with MASSIVE speakers at each site of the screen which caused the vibration, this was a temporary sound system at the time Earthquake was shown ... notice how Earthquake never seem right when you watch it on TV at home ;)

This system really did make the auditorium feel like it was shaking!

Sure one of our resident cinema experts can tell us more.

A little more information courtesy of Wikopedia.

Sensurround involved the installation of up to ten large Cerwin-Vega subwoofer speakers in black-painted wood cabinets, which were placed beneath the screen and in the corners of the theatre. The sound system was driven by a separate control box attached to a 1,600 watt audio amplifier. When triggered by control tones on the film's optical soundtrack, the system generated an almost sub-audible rumble between 5 and 40 Hertz at sound pressures of 110-120 decibels, the results of which could be "felt" as well as heard. In the case of Earthquake, Sensurround was activated during the quake scenes to augment the conventional soundtrack.

I'm pretty sure that the ABC would have shown the 70mm version with magnetic soundtrack not the optical mentioned above. At such low frequencies there is a real danger of doing damage to the structure of a theatre, especially old suspended ceilings. As a comparison, a decent high-fi will produce down to around 20 hertz.

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I remember going here, well I am almost sure it was here,

I was about 4 or 5 and I went to see, Superman the first Christopher Reeve version of Superman,

I was in a cue for what seemed like a lifetime as a young boy! with my dad,

probably only about 5mins or something! it would have been about 1977 or somewhere in that ball park!

I am guessing?

It seemed MASSIVE! I think it was my first ever cinema experience!

Shame it's not around anymore.

Rob

Rob - it was actually January 1979. Honest, I have good reason to remember.

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A little more information courtesy of Wikopedia.

Sensurround involved the installation of up to ten large Cerwin-Vega subwoofer speakers in black-painted wood cabinets, which were placed beneath the screen and in the corners of the theatre. The sound system was driven by a separate control box attached to a 1,600 watt audio amplifier. When triggered by control tones on the film's optical soundtrack, the system generated an almost sub-audible rumble between 5 and 40 Hertz at sound pressures of 110-120 decibels, the results of which could be "felt" as well as heard. In the case of Earthquake, Sensurround was activated during the quake scenes to augment the conventional soundtrack.

I'm pretty sure that the ABC would have shown the 70mm version with magnetic soundtrack not the optical mentioned above. At such low frequencies there is a real danger of doing damage to the structure of a theatre, especially old suspended ceilings. As a comparison, a decent high-fi will produce down to around 20 hertz.

I remember seeing Earthquake at the ABC. I think it was 1976. The entire place seemed to shake. My stomach was dancing. I remember thinking that Ava Gardner was miscast, She played Lorne Green's daughter and looked as old as him. Sorry, don't mean to be nasty, but she did.

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Rob - it was actually January 1979. Honest, I have good reason to remember.

Correct, the American release of Superman was 1978. Foe Earthquare 1974. British releases approx 6 months to a year later.

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I remember going to ABC minors club on saturday mornings the foyer always smelt of hot dogs. All the kids who had birthdays used to take their birthday cards in with them and had to go on stage...how embarrassing. Went to see Grease there too remember queueing for hours. Such memories, God i feel old!!! :(

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I remember going to ABC minors club on saturday mornings the foyer always smelt of hot dogs. All the kids who had birthdays used to take their birthday cards in with them and had to go on stage...how embarrassing. Went to see Grease there too remember queueing for hours. Such memories, God i feel old!!! :(

Maybe it´s because you are.......?

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Went to see "Return of the Jedi " only saw that because we couldn't get in to see ET.

:( :(

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I remember going to the ABC to see "Eighth Day" with Hazel o'Connor, too, and around the same time, going there to see "xanadu" with Olivia Newton-John and the incomparable Gene Kelly.

I well-remember the minors matinee. When I used to go there, in the mid 1970s, it cost 5p (a shilling!) to get in. the queues were all the way up the tunnel between the cinema and Cockaynes (which became Schofields, now Argos) it was like a bloomin' chimps tea party, inside, kids throwing sweets, drinks, screaming and shouting! God! it was mayhem!

When I was thirteen, I went out with a lad called Paul, briefly. why was it brief?

Well, he was a skinflint! he'd go to the minors matinee with his mates, and invite me along, but he'd say "I'll meet you inside!" so he didn't have to pay the 5p entrance fee for me! The tight-fisted so-and-so! It's no wonder we ended up having a MASSIVE scrap, in the school playground.

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Did I see The Towering Inferno here in 1974 ? or thereabouts .... was a major day out for a 12 year old, I know my Mam didn't "go to the cinema" for about 25 years after, no doubt recoving from the shock of the prices ..... one of those "special treats"; anyone confirm the year please ?

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I too was a proud member of the Tufty Club lol

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Did I see The Towering Inferno here in 1974 ? or thereabouts .... was a major day out for a 12 year old, I know my Mam didn't "go to the cinema" for about 25 years after, no doubt recoving from the shock of the prices ..... one of those "special treats"; anyone confirm the year please ?

Here's the info you need. Good site for film facts.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072308/

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Oh heck. What an amazing set of photo's. Particularly the ones with 'Uncle Les'. I was one of his assistant managers in the early eighties. What memories. He was always 'chipper' but his happiness reached a new level with the release of ET in 1982.

Prior to that the place had not been full for years. Suddenly everyone wanted a seat and, to use one of his phrases, he was 'happy as a sand boy'. We ran out of ice cream, Kia Ora and the popcorn was running low. Bliss. The usherettes didn't know what had hit them. Running up and down the auditorium trying to find the odd single or double seat. When the feature started he stood at the top of the rear stairs, looked all around and glowed with pride. Wonderful.

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I too was a proud member of the Tufty Club lol

Me too, although my sister was. :o :o

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ABC - Associated British Cinemas. Just in case anyone was wondering! Sister company to ABPC - Associated British Picture Corporation and ABE - Associated British Entertainments. ABE was the original owners of the Crystal Rooms, the amusement arcade directly below.

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ABC - Associated British Cinemas. Just in case anyone was wondering! Sister company to ABPC - Associated British Picture Corporation and ABE - Associated British Entertainments. ABE was the original owners of the Crystal Rooms, the amusement arcade directly below.

It always amazes me how do you know so much info, its fantastic lollol

This forum is a fantasic source of information

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The queues were all the way up the tunnel between the cinema and Cockaynes (which became Schofields, now Argos)

That'll be Watsons Walk then, though from a different era to my posting lol

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That'll be Watsons Walk then, though from a different era to my posting lol

and the tunnel always smelt like a gents toilet!!! welcome back by the way!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

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If it's of any use to anybody - In the early eighties she (like a ship - always a she) still had her carbon arc projectors (in ABC1). Reel to reel stuff, none of your modern 'cake-stand' and Xenon gas type. Most films were supplied as 35mm prints on 40 minute reels. The big fun was 70mm. 20 minute reels, magnetic soundtrack and one of the biggest screens in the UK ( I kid you not). To watch the tabs (curtains) and the masking (those black blind things) run out after the Pearl and Dean adverts was worth the ticket money on it's own. Darn shame it's all gone. The modern multiplex can't hold a candle to it. It's just a shame that the kids won't see it.

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