Monday, February 13, 2006

Who are all these people?

I went along to an Eighteen Plus re-union with Karen on Sunday afternoon. It was being held in the Stockport Plaza and somewhere I have a write-up of last time I visited that fine venue.

As part of the deal, the venue laid on teas & coffees, biscuits, opened the bar and made the circle lounge available to us. In penance, we had to sit through a short speech, a Organ interlude and some film snippets on the big screen. Obviously, I was in Cinema heaven, but Karen found it rather bizarre...

The Plaza has a three manual eleven rank Compton Organ situated slap-bang in the middle of the orchestra pit, with the pipe chambers in the proscenium splay wall to the right of the audience. The Organ has an illuminated glass surround, too angular to be called a jelly-mould but it chugs through a slow sequence on automatic or can be set to give a particular colour using stop keys by the organist. (The red lamps looked suspiciously like orange fireglow lamp colours to me so producing a good purple would be unlikely). A sniff on the Web tells me this was known as a Sunburst design.

For the film footage, we watched the 1966 World Cup final highlights on Pathe news (in Wide screen ratio, i.e. 4/3 telly shaped, followed by a trailer for Mrs. henderson Presents, currently on release. (It looks interesting, being about the Windmill Theatre!) Then the tabs closed and opened again to a cinemascope size for snippets from The King & I, Star and Hello Dolly, preceded by an overture from something that wasn't immediately obvious.

There was a downside to this, the auditorium was a bit nippy, I was glad I had brought my fleece with me.

Afterwards, there were some naff speeches related to the reunion and not knowing anyone, I busied myself with the Plaza displays rather than talking to people older than myself about how good 18+ used to be in the olden days.

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