Jump to content
DaveH

The Manor Cinema, Manor Top

Recommended Posts

Is it possible that the bricks in the square on the back wall had to be taken out , in order to install the large projectors ?

Would they tally with the position of the projection room ????

Can't speak for the Harlow Odeon but that certainly looks like a possibility from the picture.

However, the one at the Manor Cinema is at the screen end of the building not the projection box end and it is a big area, - marking out the size and shape that the screen would be immediately behind it on the other side of the wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't speak for the Harlow Odeon but that certainly looks like a possibility from the picture.

However, the one at the Manor Cinema is at the screen end of the building not the projection box end and it is a big area, - marking out the size and shape that the screen would be immediately behind it on the other side of the wall.

I would have thought that the screen would be much lower than that Dave, and also bigger.

In that position you'd have a right neck ache viewing from the stalls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking on Google for “rear wall of Cinema” it seems that great emphasis has to be placed on the acoustical qualities of the wall behind the screen where the speakers are placed.

If it is a solid wall the sound will be bounced off it and give a hollow ring to it. So it has to be constructed with sound absorbing material.

So, just may be, with an old building that was upgraded to a better sound system with lots of Bass the wall was reconstructed behind the screen area. Requiring the wall to be rebuilt hence the new bricks . Why the Manor has the area painted white who knows.

jijinc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have thought that the screen would be much lower than that Dave, and also bigger.

In that position you'd have a right neck ache viewing from the stalls.

Not so sure about that vox.

Manor Cinema is built on a hill.

At the entrance end (Manor Top) you enter at ground level, but at the rear where the screen is (Dagnam Crescent) there is a floor below ground floor level today (the shuttered doorway in the photo) which is now used as the Tesco Express delivery and storage area.

I assume that in the original cinema (can't honestly remember, not seen a film in there since the mid 60's)that after entering at Manor Top street level there would be a pay box and the place that sells sweets and popcorn followed by a staircase up to the balcony (Manor cinema, like most, is taller at the back than at the front to get a high view) but gone straight ahaed into the main theatre stalls, at which point the floor itself would slope downwards towards the screen to rack the seating to be able to see over the heads of people sat in front.

I suppose the Supermarket interiors with flat, single level flooring level with Manor Top street level were added later and so the original levels are now uncertain.

As for the size, I think it is about right. In fact when I first mentioned this about 2 years ago Tsavo agreed with me and even commented that the aspect ratio of the screen (width / height) was about right for a widescreen screen.

When older cinemas which predated widescreen were converted the limiting factor was often the wall to wall width of the cinema, so much so that in a small cinema, instead of getting the "bigger picture area" that widescreen promised, - you actually got less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking on Google for “rear wall of Cinema” it seems that great emphasis has to be placed on the acoustical qualities of the wall behind the screen where the speakers are placed.

If it is a solid wall the sound will be bounced off it and give a hollow ring to it. So it has to be constructed with sound absorbing material.

So, just may be, with an old building that was upgraded to a better sound system with lots of Bass the wall was reconstructed behind the screen area. Requiring the wall to be rebuilt hence the new bricks . Why the Manor has the area painted white who knows.

jijinc

Not only is that correct jiginc but as far as I know cinema screens are never just fastened on to the back wall of the cinema anyway. They are always mounted in some way clear of the back wall to give access around the back of the screen.

I could be wrong on that, or it could just be a legacy of pre cinema theatre where curtains and stage props would have to be handled, out of sight "behind the scenes". In a cinema I can't think of a similar reason why you would need to go behind the screen (to maintain sound systems perhaps?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not so sure about that vox.

------ etc

Points taken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Points taken.

You could be right, it all depends on the internal layout of the original cinema, but that is something we can't easily find out now that the building has been modified for other purposes (supermarkets).

It's just that it's position and size (even its colour) on that rear wall where the screen used to be just seems too much of a coincidence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad told me that his uncle was projectionist at the Manor Cinema. I assume that this was in the 40s, I think his name may have been Fred George and his wife Ivy worked there too. How I wish I had taken more notice and asked more questions while I had chance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do know the Third edition of Manor Memories published 1990 on the Blitz, had something on what Manor Cinema was showing during that week. I would have scanned the pages to it and post them, but someone borrowed my copy and never returned it :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's another bricked up hole in a cinema rear wall behind the screen. This one from the Greystones Picture Palace as seen here

It has to have been used to gain entrance for somthing but what. Projectors may be but are they this big, could it have been the screen it's self.

Someone must know.

jiginc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would imagine that this recess was for the sound speakers, being behind the screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could it be something to do with making room for the frame of a CinemaScope screen ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Early 80's maybe it was used as an outdoor cinema drive through? Certainly rings a bell.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent quite a bit of my youth either in or outside the Manor, there was a very spacious  Snooker Hall beneath the cinema run by an old chap named Tom, if I recall correctly it had twelve tables with two rooms off the main hall. We used to go into the cinema halfway through as the lady in the ticket office let us in for half price, I seem to think she was a German lady but I can't be sure on that. Happy days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember as a kid back in the 70's my mum would do the Friday big shop in Challenge supermarket. I remember I always picked up a Ski yoghurt and asking if we could have it, but my mum always said no as she bought cheaper branded yoghurts instead. I would also pick up a tub of salmon spread (with a layer of fat and a paper film on top) but again she usually said no, as it was too expensive. 

Also remember driving down the slope to the left of the building to access the car par at the rear. It was a case of checking that there wasn't a car about to drive up first. There was also a roundabout outside the building, at the junction of City Rd/Prince of Wales Rd/Ridgeway Rd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a 10 year old in 1939 and later, we kids would queue up in a pen on a Saturday afternoon to see mostly

silent cowboy films with Tom Mix, Roy Rogers and also the dog RinTinTin. Other films of that time were with

The Three Stooges,  Laurel & Hardy or George Formby. The better paying audience in the balcony would

throw peanuts down onto our heads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×