The cinema completed its long awaited 20 mile drive from the Blackdown Hills of East Devon to Exeter without a hitch on the 7th March, 2009, and now nestles inside the busy workshop at Hills Body Works. The journey was captured in full by the BBC cameras as part of the ongoing filming for a documentary to be screened in March 2010.
Skilled workers at Hills set to work immediately on the bodywork and within a matter of days had the doors all around the cinema looking straight, clean and ready for paint. In the weeks following, they moved onto rubbing down the paintwork, repairing the fiberglass damage to the cab and are now getting very close to applying the barrier coat used to stop the old 1970’s ‘apple green’ paint (applied in Sir William McAlpine’s ownership) reacting badly with the modern paint.
The colour swatches have been chosen with great care, plus some debate, and we’ve settled on using a direct colour match for the main body of the vehicle (off-white/cream) and a blue stripe down the body (slightly darker and richer than the original sky blue). It’s only a matter of days now until the mobile cinema rolls out of the workshop looking every bit as good as it has in well over 35 years!
A sample piece of material for replacing the perspex dome has also been aquired and we’re hoping that fitting a complete new set of panels won’t be as hard or expensive as we’ve maintained it might be, if this too is replaced by the time the cinema leaves Hills then the exterior of the unit will be as good as new. Fingers crossed.