When Ken and Mary Clarke took over the Star Theatre, the original projectors were still in the projector room. Keen to bring the theatre back to life and maybe still show movies, the Clarke’s were keen to find someone who can service the projectors.
With years of dust covering the machines it was going to take someone with a lot of experience to work through the dust and restore the projectors.
As it turns out Tim Sherwood was the projectionist at Stawell. The picture theatre in Stawell has since closed, when the industry went digital. He now travels around restoring old projectors.
The two antique projectors at the Star Theatre had suffered from neglect and all the grease had gone hard on the moving parts. He had to dismantle each piece, wash it in kerosene and painstakingly put it back together.
On Sunday night he called on Ken Clarke to come to theatre along with a few members from the Dimboola Historical Society to see the first projector fire up.
Ken Clarke said, “It was amazing to see. The images were so clear and you can see the large beam of light come from the projector onto the screen.”
Mr Sherwood said, “the movie industry had converted to digital in 2009 and you can no longer hire movies from distributors on film.”
“However there are films in the national archive that accredited projectionist can access.”
“We may be able to get films from the national archive and show them at the Star Theatre,” he said.
“I also have a small collection of old films that I may be able to show one evening.”
According to Mr Sherwood the projectors have a couple of unique properties.
“They are all Australian manufactured projectors. Most times they are made from Australian and imported parts,” he said.
The projectors were dated to have been made around the late 1940’s.
When Mr Sherwood completes the work on the projectors his next task will be to get the old valve amplifier going. At present it is a box full of dust.