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Long Lost Treasure: Super Lume-X Superiority

This month your resident heritage curator (and projectionist in training) covers the first wave of the Allanpark Cinema’s former projectors returning from Carlton Bingo in Stirling.

Two weeks ago, it was time for the Broadway team of projectionists to once again fire up a hired Transit, stock up on mint imperials for the road, and return to visit our now close friends in Stirling. The salvage process at the Allanpark has been an extensive, yet wonderfully rewarding process. Since the last film, the Incredible Hulk showed in 2008, the Allanpark’s projection room had been left virtually untouched. With no plans for Carlton to ever power up the Westar projectors again that had served Stirling for over 50 years, we were incredibly fortunate to receive the very generous donation of the equipment to be restored and recommissioned in the Broadway in the future.

A collection of items had already returned to Prestwick in 2023. Items brought back from our first visit included vintage Peerless Magnarc lamphouses, Premier film rewind benches and storage cabinets, amps, processors, and even an original cinema seat from the Allanpark’s single auditorium that was divided for bingo in 1977. The disassembly of the projectors required a far greater deal of preparation and planning, not to mention the time to do so!

Several trips later, the disassembly was complete and the Westars 2001s, their lamphouses, and Westrex tower systems were ready to be collected and transported back to Ayrshire. With the vast collection requiring two full van loads and two trips, this was the first wave of our final transfer, with the highlight being the two Strong Super Lume-X lamphouses.

The Super Lume-X many projectionists believe is one of the finest lamphouses ever built. Manufactured in America, the Strong-branded Super Lume-X’s are still revered by many projectionists today, and were an exceedingly popular choice in cinemas the world over. Our engineer contact at ODEON describes the model as the Rolls-Royce of lamphouses in terms of stability and brightness, and the Allanpark’s examples are in immaculate condition. Even the bulbs are still in place!

The arrival of the Lume-X’s brings welcome versatility to the Broadway’s analogue projection line-up, and yet the main article is still to arrive. This week, we will return to the Allanpark one final time, and re-unite our lamphouses with their Westars!

We look forward to bringing you along for the ride!

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