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Carbon Arc Theatres

A Living List

by Gordon R. Bachlund, PE


Screening Room Services

August 20, 2015

Early light sources for projectors included the oil lamp (very low brightness), the “lime light” (ca 1860, the earliest non-electric stage light source, quite bright for its time at about 2,000 degrees K), incandescent lamps (ca 1880, pioneered by Edison, about 2600 degrees K) and carbon arc lights (ca 1890 on, about 5,000 degrees Kelvin). Inasmuch as the color temperature of sunlight is 5,000 degrees Kelvin and higher, the carbon arc afforded the best natural-looking light source for both filming movies and projecting them.

Development of the xenon lamp solved the problem of consumption of the carbon electrodes as they “burned” in projection arc lamps, and enabled development of long-playing film “platters” and automated projection booths. Even today’s digital projectors use xenon lamps.

Happily there remain some classic and retrospective cinemas that have retained their carbon arc projection equipment, enabling truly authentic screenings of classic films as they were meant to be seen. The following matrix lists some of these venues and it will updated periodically as more current information is available.

If you live near any of the listed theatres, seek them out and support them by attending their screenings.

If you are associated with any of the listed theatres, please contact us with updated information.

 

 

Theatres in the US using carbon arc changeover projection or other carbon arc equipment…

 

 

Theatre       

Loew’s Jersey Theatre                          

Location                

Jersey City, NJ   

Organ                                            

4/23 Robert Morton

Projectors

Phillips FP-20s with variable speed drives

(Also installing Norelco AAs with

Strong X-60 Xenon Lamphouses)

Lamps and Trims 

Ashcraft Super Core Lites,

13.6mm pos, ½” neg

Technical Contact

Robert Minichino, Technical Director  

( robert@minichino.org )

Brenograph (or other) and trims

Master Brenograph (not working but has most of it's parts)

 

 

Theatre                                 

Newark Symphony Hall (ex Mosque Theatre)

Location  

Newark, NJ

Organ    

3/15 Griffith-Beach

Projectors

Simplex XLs, XL soundheads

Lamps and Trims

Ashcraft Corelites

Technical Contact

Glenn Settles, Union Steward

Brenograph (or other) and trims

None

      

 

Theatre                                 

Ritz Theatre                        

Location  

Elizabeth, NJ   

Organ    

--

Projectors

Simplex XLs, XL soundheads

Lamps and Trims

Peerless Magnarcs

Technical Contact

George Castro, Owner

Brenograph (or other) and trims

Unknown effects machine

 

 

Theatre                                 

Stanley Theatre                        

Location  

Utica, NY 

Organ    

--

Projectors

Simplex XLs

Lamps and Trims

Ashcraft Core Lite 135s, 11mm pos

Technical Contact

Robert Throop ( rjt70mm@twcny.rr.com )

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--


 

Theatre                                 

Landmark (ex Lowes State)                        

Location  

Syracuse, NY

Organ    

--

Projectors

Simplex XLs

Lamps and Trims

Strong Excelites, 11mm pos, 3/8” neg

Technical Contact

--

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--

 

 

Theatre                                 

Capitol Theatre                        

Location  

Rome, NY

Organ    

3/7 Moller

Projectors

Simplex XLs with DC variable speed drives

Lamps and Trims

Ashcraft Super Core Lites

Technical Contact

 

Brenograph (or other) and trims

Chicago Cinema Effects

 

 

Theatre

Brooklyn Center Cinema

(Walt Whitman Theatre)                        

Location

Brooklyn, NY

Organ

--

Projectors

Simplex XLs

Lamps and Trims

Peerless Magnarcs, 9mm pos, 8mm neg

Technical Contact

Frank Angel ( Angel@BrooklynCenterCinema.com )

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--

 

 

Theatre

Riviera Theatre

Location

North Tonawanda, NY

Organ

3/16 Wurlitlzer (original installation)

Projectors

Simplex E-7s

Lamps and Trims

Peerless Magnarcs

Technical Contact

--

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--

 

 

Theatre

Redford Theatre

Location

Detroit, MI

Organ

3/10 Barton (original installation)

Projectors

Norelco AAs

Lamps and Trims

Ashcraft Core Lites

Technical Contact

--

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--

 

 

Theatre

Temple Theatre

Location

Saginaw, MI

Organ

3/11 Barton (original installation)

Projectors

Cinemeccanica V-10s

Lamps and Trims

Ashcraft Core Lite Cinex 35/70 Specials, 13.6mm pos, 7/16“ neg

Technical Contact

Paul Finn  ( prfinn@hotmail.com )

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--

 

 

Theatre

Hershey Theatre

Location

Hershey, PA

Organ

4/78 Aeolian-Skinner (original installation)

Projectors

Century SAs, RCA MI-9050 soundheads

Lamps and Trims

Ashcraft Core Lites

Technical Contact

--

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--

 

 

Theatre

Avon Cinema

Location

Providence, RI

Organ

--

Projectors

Century Cs, original Western Electric soundheads

Lamps and Trims

Brenkert Enarcs, 8mm pos, 7mm neg

Technical Contact

--

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--

 

 

Theatre

Wellfleet Drive-In

Location

Wellfleet, MA

Organ

--

Projectors

Century Cs, original Western Electric soundheads

Lamps and Trims

RCA (Ashcraft) Dyn Arcs, 13.6mm pos, TBD neg

Technical Contact

--

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--


 

Theatre

Byrd Theatre

Location

Richmond, VA

Organ

4/17 Wurlitzer (original installation)

Projectors

Simplex XLs, SH-1000 soundheads

Lamps and Trims

Peerless Magnarcs have been replaced by

Xenon lamphouses

Technical Contact

Bill Enos ( billenos@juno.com )

Brenograph (or other) and trims

Master Brenograph, with HX754 bulbs

(carbon jaws are intact)

 

 

Theatre

Empire Theatre

Location

Tekoa, WA

Organ

--

Projectors

DeVry Model 10

Lamps and Trims

Strong Low Intensity Reflector

Technical Contact

Ken Layton ( projector.wa@netzero.com )

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--

 

 

Theatre

Embassy Theatre

Location

Fort Wayne, IN

Organ

4/16 Grande Page (original installation)

Projectors

Brenkert BX-100s, RCA 9030 soundheads and mag penthouses, variable speed drives

Lamps and Trims

Ashcraft Super CoreLite, 13.6mm pos

Technical Contact

John Williamson
(john@americantheatreequipment.com)

Brenograph (or other) and trims

Master Brenograph, Model F-7, with more than 4,000 slides, fully catalogued

 

 

Theatre

Jacobs Music Center (ex San Diego Fox)

Location

San Diego, CA

Organ

4/32 Robert Morton (original installation)

Projectors

Simplex XLs with AC variable freq. drives,

SH-1000 soundheads, SH-1025 penthouses

Lamps and Trims

Peerless Magnarcs, 8mm pos, 7mm neg

Technical Contact

Gordon Bachlund ( gordon@screeningroomservices.com)

Brenograph (or other) and trims

Parts only, nothing complete

 

 

Theatre

Stanford Theatre

Location

Palo Alto, CA

Organ

4/23 Wurlitzer

Projectors

Simplex XLs, SH-1000 soundheads

Lamps and Trims

Strong 35/70 Specials, 11mm pos, 3/8” neg

Technical Contact

Philip Krikau ( popcorn221@msn.com )

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--

 

 

Theatre

Fox Theatre

Location

Bakersfield, CA

Organ

--

Projectors

Simplex E-7s, SH-1000 soundheads

Lamps and Trims

Strong Futuras, 10mm pos, 11/32” neg

Technical Contact

 

Brenograph (or other) and trims

Master Brenograph in storage


 

Theatre

Casino Theatre

Location

Avalon, CA

Organ

4/16 Page

Projectors

Brenkert BX-80s, RCA 1040 soundheads

A separate projector with Xenon lamphouse

and platter is used for daily movies

Lamps and Trims

Brenkert Enarcs, 9mm pos, 8mm neg

Technical Contact

--

Brenograph (or other) and trims

--

 

 

 

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