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THE ABC CINEMA Sheffield


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Guest tsavo

Try Imax at the Museum of Film and Photography, it makes 70mm look small! Must agree with you though about the old carbon arcs, at least they didn't explode like Xenon's did occasionally. I always prefered the ABC auditorium over the Odeon, but as an ex Rank man I never told anyone. (till now)

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Went to the ABC MINORS every Saturday morning for Flash Gordon (still have nightmares about the 'clay men') and cartoons and if it was your birthday you took your birthday card up on stage (can't reme

It certainly is. The three windows on the left were sometimes decorated to illustrate a film. I heard that at the time of "Where Eagles Dare" there were models of cable cars there. Further down y

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Guest basketcase23

Went to see Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in this baby in 1984 for my birthday. Had a Wimpy ( remember anyone?) beforehand, then we went to watch Dr Jones kick sum occult ass!! ;-) Great day as i remember, totally forgot about the smell in that corridor when we were queing! :blink: As i recall the screen was quite big, and the only other film i can remember watching was Clash of the Titans in 1981. We always seemed to go the Gaumont for my other birthdays.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Uppsy_Daisy

Went to see planet of the apes there, I loved the film so much me and a friend hid afterwards and watched it all over again! In the gaumont I remember one time after getting in to see the film you could stay and watch it again if they wasn't many queueing. Rex cinema was my favourite, my best mates nan worked there so we used to get in free as long as we hid from the manageress!

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  • 8 months later...

Jaws display...anyone else remember seeing the display for Jaws 2 in the windows that were up the side alleyway where you queued up?

I was far too young to see Jaws at the time but was obsessed with Jaws/sharks and i think everytime i was in town with my Mum i begged her to walk down there so i could see the display.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

I seem to remember going to see South Pacific in Todd AO with my auntie. The film started with a roller coaster ride to show what the effects of this Todd AO was like. Never did find out what it meant, but thought the film was wonderful at the time :rolleyes:

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Guest tsavo

Todd AO) was the brain child of American producer, Mike Todd. (he was once married to Elizabeth Taylor) Todd AO was shot and projected using 70mm film stock, twice the width of 'normal' film. This gave very large sharp images and along with magnetic sound tracks, stereophonic sound. I always liked the ending of the film "This is Todd AO" where the camera, mounted on a motor bike, crashed into the side of a truck. Ouch!

If you want to see a really big screen though, pop along to Bradford and see IMAX at the Film and Television Museum. It's brilliant.

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Thanks Tsavo for the info. been to the Imax cinema in Bradford, as you say it's breathtaking. Saw a film about wing walkers over the Grand Canyon - inspired us to go and take a helicopter flight and see for ourselves. Lot less scarier than the actual film and just as spectacular. :) Don't remember the motor bike crashing into a truck though, just the roller coater ride.

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Todd AO) was the brain child of American producer, Mike Todd. (he was once married to Elizabeth Taylor) Todd AO was shot and projected using 70mm film stock, twice the width of 'normal' film. This gave very large sharp images and along with magnetic sound tracks, stereophonic sound. I always liked the ending of the film "This is Todd AO" where the camera, mounted on a motor bike, crashed into the side of a truck. Ouch!

If you want to see a really big screen though, pop along to Bradford and see IMAX at the Film and Television Museum. It's brilliant.

I seem to remember Tsavo and myself have mentioned various widescreen formats, in particular Todd AO, in another thread somewhere but I can't seem to find it. Perhaps Tsavo can remember and provide a link.

As well as being named after Mike Todd the AO stands for "anomorphic optics" as it used special lenses which have the ability to horizontally compress or stretch an image to alter its aspect ratio to one of a wider screen. Usually the lens is used on the camera to compress the image in and then used on the projector, rotated 90 degrees with respect to when it was on the camera to stretch it back out again.

In the other thread Tsavo related a story from his projectionist days about cinemas having to share the expensive anomorphic lens depending on which one had the film which required it that week and how on one occasion, as often happens with shared equipment it "disappeared"

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Guest tsavo

This post as requested re the disappearing anamorphic lenses.

I spent a few months at the Star, Ecclesall Rd in 1959 / 60. Star Cinemas was a bit of a cut price operation then and had a limited number of anamorphic lenses (needed to show CinemaScope films) for all it's cinemas so we had to share and a list of who had them week by week was made up. One week someone dropped a gooley and the Wicker ended up with a scope feature but we were supposed to collect our lenses from them. Old Jack refused (non to politely) and headed for the pub. (the Brown Cow I think) We nipped up to the box and swiped them.

We had some weird experiences with the groups cost cutting measures. They had all power on a timer for a cheaper tarrif which came on at 1.45pm and cut off at 4.30pm. The day we were to show a two and a half hour feature, the film was late arriving and we finally got started at 2.20. I chopped a complete reel out and we got just half way through the national anthem when all the power went off. Happy days

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/i...&hl=formats

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This post as requested re the disappearing anamorphic lenses.

I spent a few months at the Star, Ecclesall Rd in 1959 / 60. Star Cinemas was a bit of a cut price operation then and had a limited number of anamorphic lenses (needed to show CinemaScope films) for all it's cinemas so we had to share and a list of who had them week by week was made up. One week someone dropped a gooley and the Wicker ended up with a scope feature but we were supposed to collect our lenses from them. Old Jack refused (non to politely) and headed for the pub. (the Brown Cow I think) We nipped up to the box and swiped them.

We had some weird experiences with the groups cost cutting measures. They had all power on a timer for a cheaper tarrif which came on at 1.45pm and cut off at 4.30pm. The day we were to show a two and a half hour feature, the film was late arriving and we finally got started at 2.20. I chopped a complete reel out and we got just half way through the national anthem when all the power went off. Happy days

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/i...&hl=formats

Thanks Tsavo, I knew I had seen a similar discussion thread on widescreen formats somewhere.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest neemz2000

My memory of ABC and Gaumont were the auditoriums were absolutely MASSIVE.

Three or four times the size of today's auditoriums at UCG , Warner Bros, showroom etc.

I keep telling younger friends of mine that the ABC 1 screen was bigger than the "Full Monty" screen at Cineworld.

Am I right, or are they? :unsure:

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Guest tsavo

I've not seen the Cineworld screen. How big is it?

Going back to the '60's the ABC was probably the widest, followed by the Odeon, (they both had huge screens for 70mm projection) followed by the Gaumont. I'm afraid I've forgotten the Gaumont screen size but will post when I remember.

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Guest tsavo

If we're talking overall (image) screen size, the ABC and the Odeon would beat the Cineworld screen hands down. Both these cinemas could project 70mm

films which were not only wide but 'high' as well.

With regard to the Gaumont, I think that the CinemaScope height was around 19 feet. With an aspect ratio of 2.35 to 1 that would make the screen .... feet wide. Well below the other two, but built in 1927! Please fill in the dots yourself, can't find my calculator!

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If we're talking overall (image) screen size, the ABC and the Odeon would beat the Cineworld screen hands down. Both these cinemas could project 70mm

films which were not only wide but 'high' as well.

With regard to the Gaumont, I think that the CinemaScope height was around 19 feet. With an aspect ratio of 2.35 to 1 that would make the screen .... feet wide. Well below the other two, but built in 1927! Please fill in the dots yourself, can't find my calculator!

I make that 44 feet 7.8 inches Tsavo

Don't need to find a calculator as computers have one built in in Windows accessories.

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Guest tsavo

I make that 44 feet 7.8 inches Tsavo

Don't need to find a calculator as computers have one built in in Windows accessories.

Knew that, but couldn't find the multiply button. Bear with me, I'm catching up, but slowly! lollol lol

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Knew that, but couldn't find the multiply button. Bear with me, I'm catching up, but slowly! lollollol

Still an impressive sized screen.

What sort of power are we talking to brightly illuminate a screen of that size?

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Guest tsavo

Originally, in the early 60's we used Peerless Magna carbon arcs. These were replaced by BTH Xenon lamps, said to match the Peerless arcs but never seemed so to me. I worked with the early Xenon lamps in the late 1950's and had at least two explode during use. Made one hell of a bang!

The Gaumont also had it's own generators which could (in theory) make it independant of the mains supply. I never saw it used in anger, but it was serviced a couple of times, I remember. On one occasion the engineer took one look at it and asked if we had a lump hammer knocking around the place. We found one and he hit the generator's casing an almighty blow, and it started up first time. Said something about the molucules lining up and changing the magnetic field.

Off subject, there was also a room in the basement with a huge collection of old unused posters. We burned hundreds of them. Now, they're fetching thousands at auction.......if only we'd known!

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Originally, in the early 60's we used Peerless Magna carbon arcs. These were replaced by BTH Xenon lamps, said to match the Peerless arcs but never seemed so to me. I worked with the early Xenon lamps in the late 1950's and had at least two explode during use. Made one hell of a bang!

The Gaumont also had it's own generators which could (in theory) make it independant of the mains supply. I never saw it used in anger, but it was serviced a couple of times, I remember. On one occasion the engineer took one look at it and asked if we had a lump hammer knocking around the place. We found one and he hit the generator's casing an almighty blow, and it started up first time. Said something about the molucules lining up and changing the magnetic field.

Off subject, there was also a room in the basement with a huge collection of old unused posters. We burned hundreds of them. Now, they're fetching thousands at auction.......if only we'd known!

These powerfull light sources must have produced an enormous amount of heat, and, along with the light, it is all focused through a single frame of film! Fortunately each frame is only in the gate for a fraction of a second, but if it stops moving.....

No wonder they got rid of celluloid and replaced it with safety film.

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  • 4 months later...

i remember the queue used to go right up the tunnel to schofields and back down again,and we hated when the man with the full sign used to appear as it was nearly full lol,great experience going there really miss it :(

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i remember the queue used to go right up the tunnel to schofields and back down again,and we hated when the man with the full sign used to appear as it was nearly full lol,great experience going there really miss it :(

Ahh you young uns and Schofields. When I wur a lad it was Cockaynes lol

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Ahh you young uns and Schofields. When I wur a lad it was Cockaynes lol

It was the site of the Iyresh Crosse when I ... hang on, I'm only 47 :rolleyes:

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Pathe News clip of the opening 1961

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=42358

Another nice little Pathe news clip here.

2 questions, -

Did the ABC play this Pathe news film of their own opening?

After all the cinema would have to be already open (if only by a few days) when Pathe released this one.

Does Tsavo know who the projectionist is who appears in this clip?

Or indeed, is it Tsavo himself?

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  • Sheffield History changed the title to THE ABC CINEMA Sheffield

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