|The Main Street Cinema a few weeks before opening. (Photo: Daveland)|
The bad news is that you have to design it for him (assuming that you are Roger Broggie, Walt's projection, camera and general Machine Shop wizard). Would Disneyland's paying customers want to see a full-length silent picture show in a dark theater? Probably not—they came to see the Magic Kingdom. So, the movie house became sort of a motion picture museum. But what to exhibit? Hand-cranked cameras? Still photographs of stars like Fatty Arbuckle and Mary Pickford?
The movies were not really silent, anyway. Grand theaters hired musicians to play grandiose organs to accompany the films. Lesser theaters might have a pianist, or just a player piano.
|Each of six screens is identical; only the films are different. (Photo by Alastair Dallas.)|
Broggie mounted his six Kodak Pageant projectors in the ceiling, an arrangement that was considered for the Circarama film. There was no need to synchronize the films. The six screens were provided by Bernard Bodde of Hollywood. As with other film presentations at Disneyland, the projectors used custom film loop cabinets, built by Broggie's Machine Shop, rather than film reels.
A raised platform in the center of the room allowed a crowd to see over the heads of those closer.
|Kodak's Pageant projector |
(except that film loop cabinets were used instead of reels.)
Extra credit: An odeum (also spelled odeion or odeon) was a building for musical performances in ancient Greece or Rome. The Odéon in Paris was a particularly ritzy theater. The word nickelodeon was coined (so to speak) in Boston in 1888 and was greatly popularized in Pittsburgh in 1905 to describe a place of inexpensive entertainments. The term for a small movie theater somehow transferred first to a Penny Arcade and then to a jukebox—"Put another nickel in...in the nickelodeon." (1949). As Wikipedia says, "The meaning of the word has been muddled ever since."
|The ticket booth was originally staffed. Admission cost a dime or an "A" ticket. (Photo by Alastair Dallas)|