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.
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.
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.
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: www.kentmomi.org
Mark Trompeteler's report of a visit to the museum will be in the next edition of Rewind.