Projector lens on past for manager

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A 1950s Kalee film projector displayed in the St James Theatre foyer ahead of the grand old dame’s 80th birthday triggered memories of its operation for theatre technical manager Fraser Falconer. A round of celebrations is to be held from Friday through to Sunday. The projector was used in the theatre from the 1950s to the mid-1990s, theatre manager Peter Cairns said. The 35mm projector used rods similar to carbon arc rods, which are used for welding. The mechanical components, including a motor, were encased in a double skin. The rods burnt through fairly quickly. ‘‘One set of rods would last an hour,’’ Mr Cairns said. Having an intermission and a second projector were necessities when operating the large projector. Mr Falconer said the projectionist was never far away from the projector in those days. The projector generated quite a bit of heat during operation, he said. ‘‘That’s why you needed a fulltime projectionist,’’ Mr Falconer said. Movies had to be wound off the spools they came with and on to the theatre’s spools in what was a timeconsuming exercise. The projector on display and a similar one used at the same time in Gore were semi-retired from the theatre in 1996 and shifted to Roxburgh, Mr Falconer said. He learned his projectionist skills on the projector, Mr Falconer said. ‘‘I ran them for about seven or eight years.’’ ‘‘They were fun times.’’