By Simon Goddard
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Extra info for Ziggyology: A Brief History of Ziggy Stardust
Even the ambience was once heaven despatched: 5 million cubic ft of natural air filtered via a posh method of pumps producing over a hundred and eighty clean lots in line with hour. the general public referred to as this temple ‘the sleek of moderns’. the click referred to as it ‘West London’s ask yourself Cinema’. The vendors referred to as it the Gaumont Palace, Hammersmith Broadway, later to alter its identify to the Odeon. 4 many years sooner than Ziggy Stardust landed, his gallows have been already in position. The Babylonians designed their Ziggurats to worship the celebs. The British equipped their Gaumont Palaces for the exact same function. Stars twinkling in silvery mild, illuminating the darkness of a three-thousand-seater auditorium. Visions of unique, sensual perfection beaming higher than the tramcars which shuttled the cheer-starved viewers of a sorry stoop country to its doorways. the place the Babylonian priest of 2500 BC shook sooner than the could of Ishtar, Marduk and Shamash, the British cinemagoer of 1932 cowered earlier than Karloff, Dietrich and Garbo. None have been extra spellbinding than Garbo: alleged Scandinavian flesh and blood dwelling within the Californian Olympus referred to as Hollywood yet a mortal-mocking deity of hope whilst amplified during the lens of a 35mm movie projector. while the recent York bring in Tribune critic Percy Hammond made the error of criticising her functionality in that year’s Grand resort, the consequent fatwa of vitriolic mail from committed Garboites pressured him to put up an apology. ‘When in an odd land,’ Hammond famous to himself, ‘worship the gods of where, no matter what they're. ’ the 1st gods to grace the Hammersmith Gaumont Palace have been of an admittedly lesser energy than Garbo. Upon the display, the newest ‘Aldwych farce’ an evening Like This, starring Tom partitions, and the yankee gangster drama undesirable corporation with Helen Twelvetrees. Upon the level, a celebratory ‘Easter Egg’ sort invoice that includes the famous Dutch violinist De Groot. Addressing the assembled public and participants of the click that Easter Monday lunchtime, the Mayor of Hammersmith praised the Gaumont’s thoroughbred British building and, particularly, the ingenuity of its smooth art-deco layout. The latter was once all the way down to the brilliance of 44-year-old English architect Robert Cromie, already famed for equally grand cinemas in Croydon and Epsom the place he pioneered the frequent use of tubular metal furnishings. The Hammersmith Gaumont proven his prestige because the country’s best writer of photo palaces – a name which belied his apprenticeship with a company specialising within the development of Edwardian psychological asylums. years later, on Monday three December 1934, the ribbon used to be lower on one other of Cromie’s cinemas in Tunbridge Wells. With its shrewdpermanent use of house, squeezing the lobby right into a slender road nook in order to not disturb neighbouring retailers, and capped by means of a fifty-foot ornamental glass tower, the recent Ritz used to be hailed ‘Kent’s most magnificent theatre’. Upstairs was once the further charm of the Florida, ‘Kent’s such a lot luxuriously appointed eating place and ballroom’. The Ritz advanced tempted the townsfolk with such embarrassment of ‘luxury’ however the truth of its buyers’ provincial existence used to be all too poignantly summed up by way of the movie selected for its gala starting.