Sydney Wylie Samuelson was born on 7 December 1925, the son of film pioneer, producer and writer George Berthold Samuelson (1889-1947), who created Worton Hall and Southall Studios. Worton Hall in Isleworth housed one of the earliest film production companies in the UK.
By 1930 sound was making a big noise in the world of film and there were several manufacturers making equipment for the age of movie sound. This of course came at a heavy price, which no doubt left many independent exhibitors worrying about the cost, just like they did when CinemaScope with four tracks arrived and other cinematic advances, the latest being the high cost of digital.
Former managing editor of Cinema Technology magazine, Jim Slater, and cinema enthusiast and historian Grant Lobban have put together a technical book containing a wealth of illustrations, many of which are actual clips from the films being discussed. With the inclusion of many stories from the authors’ own expansive careers, the book has at heart a personal touch and promises to delight all readers from the student seeking knowledge of expert film restoration to the film enthusiast wanting to know more.
All Shapes and Sizes is a real blockbuster of a book, taking the reader on an action-packed journey through the history of film and television. Highly readable and copiously illustrated, it explains the different technologies involved in a manner that is understandable to the novice while giving enough detail to satisfy the expert and the enthusiast.
The book could make an excellent Christmas present for anyone with even the slightest interest in cinema.
All Shapes and Sizes, An illustrated history of film in cinema and television
Jim Slater and Grant Lobban
Hardback (approx A4) 277 pages £24.99
Publisher AG Books, Andrews UK Ltd.
Available from Amazon or from
firstname.lastname@example.org 01980 610544
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
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.
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.
Moving pictures have been around since 1896. Since then an amazing amount of footage has rolled through the cameras, producing some great movies, both silent and sound. Sadly, much of the footage has been destroyed in some way, or lost, possibly tucked away in someone's attic or shed.
I was interested in the cinema from an early age and would often go to our local cinema, now long gone. It was called the Grand but didn't quite live up to its name. I remember my first visit was to see the 1953 film The Conquering of Everest. I was one of a bunch of school kids from the infant school, which was next door. I think it was this visit that sowed the seed. the Grand, which I was fond of, closed in 1961 with Carry on Regardless.