This year brings exciting changes to the Nyngan Museum. Work continues on the multistorey building and grounds. The mines room has been cleared and construction of the new exhibition has commenced.
(min cost $8)
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Last Wednesday the support group met for a working bee to begin restoration of the Palais Theatre seats.
We have three rows of four seats that will form the centre of our Palais Theatre exhibit. The group put in a few hours of dissolving and removing almost 100 years of shellac and accompanying build up.
Built in 1925, the Palais Theatre has been a key building in the town throughout the years filling many roles from picture theatre, live performances, Carols by Candlelight, High School Presentation nights, ballet school and performance space, public meetings and I am sure many other functions.
At the Museum there is an audio of locals telling of their experiences as they gathered at the Palais during the flood in 1990.
It is fitting therefore, that the mini theatrette featuring the seats from the Palais will be the venue for viewing the video 'Flood, Sweat and Tears' after the remodelling of the museum.
Our working bee consisted of eight volunteers including Collin Pardy, who relays fond memories of his time as the Palais projectionist during the 1970s and 80s. We also saw Yvonne Pardy, Anne Quarmby, Margaret Sibbald, Bay Lovett, Glad Eldridge, Val Keighran, Anna Corby and I have a very productive morning of removing shellac.
Finding appropriate fabric to restore the seats to their former glory posed a problem as there is nothing currently available like the original.
You may recall the textured fabric in 'fan' shapes in a faded red/purple. Perusal of samples by the volunteers left a choice of two fabrics. Kooltrend in Dubbo reupholstered the seats over the years when George and Sally Ling were the caretakes and he was very helpful with advice.
Joan Peters, Muscian and Writer states that "movie theatres use the colour red because of its effect on how the viewers perceive light. Human eyes are less sensitive to the colour red, which makes the room darker, providing a contrast for the cinematic screen.
Dark reds are also popular because they achieve the darkness along with maintaining a certain style." The fabric that was chosen is red and does bring that elegance and style of the 1920s that the Palais would have exhibited.
As this is a restoration, we want to maintain as much authenticity as possible whilst producing a functional product that will be able to be used for seating by the visiting public.
The original Kapok, canvas and rubber is maintained where possible and we are using tacks in preference to staples for the finish, as would have been used originally.
The timber work is being lovingly brought back to life and we will hopefully be able to remove the aluminium supports that have been recently screwed to the backs of the seats for a more sympathetic solution to the support of the seats.
Be sure to pop along and see the results when we reopen hopefully in April.
Visit us in the future: Monday- Friday from 9am to 4pm. Saturday and Sunday 9am to 4.30pm.
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