LUDLOW - Following a long study and fundraising effort, FOLA
(Friends of Ludlow Auditorium) installed a new movie screen in the
Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium recently. The screen is about
twice the size of the previous screen and operates electronically
so that, when not in use, it retracts into an out of sight
container above the proscenium arch of the auditorium's stage.
"I felt that I was actually part of the movie, the screen is so
large and the projections so vivid," said David Almond, one of the
FOLA members who helped with the installation, after he witnessed
the first images projected on the new screen.
The most difficult part of bringing the screen, which when
crated weighed 900 pounds and was 24 feet long, was getting it into
the back stage area of the auditorium so that it could be lifted to
the proper height. Through the cooperation of Ludlow Electric
Department, plus the manpower of countless volunteers, the crated
screen was raised to the second floor window level of the stage by
the Electric Department's crane and very carefully positioned just
in front of the stage curtain on special mechanical risers supplied
by North American Theatrix. It then began the slow rise behind the
upper proscenium arch of the stage to be secured permanently in its
Jim Alic and Kevin Kuntz complimented all the people who helped
carry the screen to the risers. "That was one very heavy
package to secure," noted Alic.
The new screen's first use was the showing of the
world-acclaimed film musical, "Les Miserables." This also marked
the debut of three new projectionists, David Almond, Bill Kneebone,
and Andy Ohotnicky. They were excellent in displaying the film in
FOLA plans to be using the new screen for all future movies.
This will include the Oct 26, 2 p.m. special for kids on Halloween,
"Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein", as well as the Nov. 2
showing of "Beasts of the Soutrhern Wild" and the Dec. 7 movie,
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." Black River Area Community
Coalition also plans on using the new screen for its Nov. 8
presentation of "The Hungry Heart."
After hours of work, the crew finally attached the screen over
the proscenium. Ralph Pace and David Almond stand in awe of the
magnitude of the giant screen.