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VIDEO: Behind the scenes at a traditional cinema as memories of Herne Bay's Odeon are relived

By LCrudgington  |  Posted: May 13, 2013

Roy Sands with his model of Herne Bay's old cinema

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FILM fans can watch a movie of their choice at the touch of a button, on anything from their phone to a computer.

But rewind just thirty years and a trip to the flicks was still an occasion. In Herne Bay, the old Odeon cinema, by then a Cannon after becoming a Classic, could regularly attract audiences of hundreds of people waiting to see the latest release.

Projectionist Roy Sands was the man responsible for making sure they could all watch the film they had paid for.

Mr Sands, of Albion Lane, Herne showed thousands of films during his ten years at the cinema, on the corner of Avenue Road and Pier Avenue, and was such a fan that he constructed a scale model of the building using blueprints from the original design.

He said: "The first film I ran on my own was Saturday Night Fever.

"It was very nerve-wracking when there were six or seven hundred people out there and just me to make sure they got to watch the film.

"I was sweating buckets that night!"

The projection room had two machines and Mr Sands had to change the reels during the films, every 20 minutes, and rewind them by hand.

He said: "Most films were six reelers, but Bond films had eight.

"I dropped a clanger one night. I got reel two the wrong way round and it came up on screen the wrong way up.

"I really did enjoy myself down there. They were times I didn't think that but it was all worth it."

The final movie shown as La Bamba, in 1987. Only a few people were able to watch it all the way through as teenagers started protesting and the police were called to throw them out.

Builders took over the site in 1988, and it is now Chislet Court retirement flats.

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