The Rembrandt Virtual Tour - Lighting
We are grateful to the family of the late Derek Phillips for their permission to use much of the text and images from the website that was set up and run by him. Derek was very interested in local history and his community and a short biography can be viewed on the introductory page
Probably the best the main auditorium looked post twinning (July 1989).
Although its a shame the troughs and chandeliers had to go.
Image courtesy of the Phillips family © 2007
Auditorium lighting was mainly by an indirect means. Three lighting troughs containing one hundred lamps each stretched across the width of the ceiling, providing light over the circle and front stalls. A pair of eight lamp chandeliers lit the rear circle. Under the circle five horseshoe shaped bays and four chandeliers lit the rear stalls. 1KW of concealed lighting illuminated the two murals on the front side walls.The total house lighting load came to around 12KW, and was spread over 3 dimmers.
Lamps were changed from the roof void. The troughs had gaps at the rear though which the lamps could be changed, whilst the chandelles were lowered by a winch. The lamps under the circle must have been reached via a ladder. Servicing the battens in the murals must have been quite risky. There was no access from behind and they are only made of fibrous plaster.
From notes made by the chief projectionist in the mid 1950's we can tell that there were three circuits of footlights, totalling 1.7KW. The lighting troughs (Battens) were rated at 1.5KW, 1.3KW and 1.1KW. This I assume was to provide progressively less illumination towards the screen. Later notes show all three troughs to have the same wattage.
These notes from the 1950's contain a great deal of information about the technical operation of the Rembrandt Cinema, and was obviously compiled by someone with a eye for detail, a great deal of professional pride in his work, and maybe just a little too much idle time in between reel changes. Do we really need to know that the rear stalls gents toilet had three 25watt lamps!!
After the cinema was twinned only the rear lighting cove was used, together with the "Pride" chandeliers over the rear circle. In 1983 the building was completely rewired to replace the old fuse and switch gear as well as the V.I.R cable. (The insulation cracks with age) For reasons of economy the lighting troughs, chandeliers and footlights were disconnected. This was because they would have had to be rewired internally, and in the case of the troughs, lifted from the ceiling - an almost impossible task. A number of circular plastic light fittings were suspended using the original winches and nylon rope. These were not particularly inspired fittings and had to be made bearable by placing a circle of red gell inside to as to draw attention away from them.
The tabs (curtains) were lit by four Strand Patt 223 fresnel spots
. The recently painted murals were treated to three PAR 38 spot lamps each, which was a bit naff, but better than nothing. Two of the four fresnels were eventually pointed at the murals which looked better. The footlights were cut up and dumped and eventually replaced by a set of PAR 38 fittings scrounged from another cinema in 1988. The result is pictured above.
Attempts were made to acquire and rewire replacement chandeliers but the project never quite got finished.
Text written by the late Derek Phillips
Boring legal stuff relating to this page
As explained earlier the text and images for this page came from the website run by the late Derek Phillips. To preserve his work and allow ready access to it, it was decided to merge his local history pages into the Epsom and Ewell History Explorer website. Of necessity some minor changes to the text were necessary and the layout has been changed to fit in with the house style of Epsom and Ewell History Explorer but in essence the web page is Derek's.
The family of the Late Derek Phillips makes every effort to ensure that the information on this web page is accurate. However, they cannot accept responsibility for any loss or inconvenience caused by reliance on inaccurate material contained in this site. Links to other sites are provided for your convenience, the Phillips family cannot give endorsement of them. They cannot be responsible for any information contained on other websites.
All material on this site (including text and images) is copyright. Every effort is being made to ensure that all sources are credited. Where no credit is given then it should be assumed that the copyright in any particular item resides with the Phillips family or that the Phillips family should be contacted to ascertain who owns the copyright before text or photographs are reproduced elsewhere. Educational use is permitted provided that no changes are made to the material and Derek Phillips is acknowledged as the source.
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