Talbot Street Tuesday/Thursday (Picture Heavy)

evilcod

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean - Paris
The projector in Oblivion is in fact a Zeiss projector (because I am willing to go that niche) and thinking about its size, it actually seems way too big for the space the Planetarium occupied. That style of projector seems to have mainly been used in much larger spaces, such as the London Planetarium. Interestingly the London Planetarium's Zeiss Mk 4 projector was replaced a couple of years before in 1995, though this also isn't the projector in Oblivion since that was gifted to the Science Museum instead.

I guess with that, one piece of Alton Towers folklore is debunked, whilst a new mystery unfurls - where was Oblivion's Planetarium Project from? Answers on a postcard!

It is probably worth saying at the point, it doesn't seem to be from any of the other cinema based attractions either The 3D Cinema was still open at the time, there are images knocking around of the Cine 2000's old school reel based projector and Cine360 projectors also do not look the same as a Planetarium Projector.

I contacted Zeiss Planetarium Support to see if they could shed any light on this:
I am not sure about this projector. It looks like the rest of an older Model from Carl Zeiss in Oberkochen. Obviously all projectors are removed and the star field projectors are replaced with kind of lamp shades/plates (?). The substructure is unknown to me. Considering the time it could be the projector Mark IV from the former Madame Tussauds Planetarium in London, which was dismantled in 1996 (installed in 1958).

I hope this helps.
Best regards,
Volkmar
Planetarien

So I thought the next step was to have a hunt for information about it being gifted to the Science Museum, using their collection search tool (https://collection.sciencemuseum.org.uk/) I can only find reference to 2 of the individual projectors being donated:
https://collection.sciencemuseum.or...r-part-of-the-mark-four-zeis-meteor-projector
https://collection.sciencemuseum.or...monstration-models-orreries-planetaria-models
There seems to be no mention of the actual substructure being held by them, could this be what we see in Oblivion's queueline?
 

DiogoJ42

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Metropolitan Line
This mystery just gets better.

I'm pretty sure it's not a mark IV. For scale, here's one next to a human:
img_0405.jpg


Source: https://natchard.com/2012/05/25/planetarium-projectors/

But interesting that even Zeiss themselves aren't sure.
 

Benzin

TS Member
Best part of CatCF was the hilariously over the top performance from the Willy Wonka actor, followed by the TV adverts...

STOP THE BOAT!
 

Squiggs

TS Team
So I thought the next step was to have a hunt for information about it being gifted to the Science Museum, using their collection search tool (https://collection.sciencemuseum.org.uk/) I can only find reference to 2 of the individual projectors being donated:
https://collection.sciencemuseum.or...r-part-of-the-mark-four-zeis-meteor-projector
https://collection.sciencemuseum.or...monstration-models-orreries-planetaria-models
There seems to be no mention of the actual substructure being held by them, could this be what we see in Oblivion's queueline?

Fascinating stuff. That second record was the one I had seen but I'd missed when it said "part of" the projector. I'm now therefore pretty certain that the Oblivion structure is the substructure from the London Planetarium.

I reckon the size and shape of the room in which the projector is now suspended creates an optical illusion that the machine is smaller then it really is. If you look at the guy queuing in the back of the TS picture, I could actually see those two projectors being the same size when you take the different angle into account:
24057034479_dd2e9a4b79_z.jpg


In other Planetarium based news, I just stumbled upon this magazine, if you skip to page 133, you'll find yourself towards the end of an article about the London Planetarium and describing a very similar tale of the fate for the Zeiss Projector. Of course, you have to assume that author has confused the Blackhole and Oblivion but he is mid-rant at that point so it seems likely.

I can however believe the paragraph where someone at Merlin sent him a picture of the Nemesis entrance tower and asked him if this was what he was looking for.
 

DiogoJ42

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Metropolitan Line
Well well, it seems that London had a slightly different looking mark IV to that one I posted above. The planet cages look shorter, and the disk at the base of the spheres is wider. Both of which do match what we see today in Oblivion's queue.
You may be right after all, sir!

Also of note for lighting geeks in the picture at the start of that pdf (will read through the rest on my commute), are the two mirror balls either side of the support structure. I can only assume these were used in the "Lasarium" shows? I never saw them myself, but I don't recall them in either the public or schools planetarium shows.
 

rob666

TS Member
Many a friday night we did the laser show before the late night showing of the RHPS at Baker St cinema next door.
More people laid out tripping in the aisles and passageways than sat in the reclining seats.
Last bit was Tangerine Dream to lasers superimposed on the night sky, slowly rotating...amazing show.
Forty years ago now.
Sh!t I'm old.
Cheers for the memories Diogo.

Edit...they bounced spots and lasers off the glitter balls Diogo.
 

OilyWater

TS Member
What a fantastic piece of equipment to just be sat rusting away in a queue line.
The only other place it would be of any use is in a museum. It looks great in the queue, it's great technique for scenery to use real 'obscure' objects to look extra bizarre and yet purposeful.

But what is a real shame is how beaten and unkept it is. For years it's had GAFFA TAPE over where lamps used to flash and the whole building is just in a state. The whole queue has gotten really lame, but it was very cool and different in the past as part of the build up to the ride.
 

Bubblegum

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Wickerman
But what is a real shame is how beaten and unkept it is. For years it's had GAFFA TAPE over where lamps used to flash and the whole building is just in a state. The whole queue has gotten really lame, but it was very cool and different in the past as part of the build up to the ride.

It's very much a shame how most of the Oblivion queue line currently looks, building largely stripped of their theming in place of plastic panelling, the often broken display screens, and for anyone that remembers, the original queue line shop.The theming of this was simply superb, I believe the Black Hole had a similar unit. Does anyone have a photo of this somewhere, I distinctly remember it having support arms that looked as though it could be packed up for storage.

I suppose we settle for a shipping container these days...
 

OilyWater

TS Member
The theming of this was simply superb, I believe the Black Hole had a similar unit. Does anyone have a photo of this somewhere,
It was actually the same shop moved funnily enough. The shop is way too early in the queue today to be useful but was a great example of designing the theme into everything rather than just sticking a vinyl sticker on a container.
 

JB1985

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Oblivion
It was actually the same shop moved funnily enough. The shop is way too early in the queue today to be useful but was a great example of designing the theme into everything rather than just sticking a vinyl sticker on a container.

It must be too early in the queue as I never notice it

As a whole there used to be some brilliant themeing - shame really
 

OilyWater

TS Member
It must be too early in the queue as I never notice it

As a whole there used to be some brilliant themeing - shame really
It got moved to the Black Hole years ago then when that shut it became derelict. I remember you could still spot it from behind X Sector for years.

Where it was in Oblivion is now that wide open circle with nothing in it, where the two lanes of the queue split around either side of the shop.
 

Benzin

TS Member
So THAT'S why there's that random circle diversion...

Must've moved pre-2001 as I don't remember a shop in the Blivvy queue ever...
 

OilyWater

TS Member
I love how the Black Hole, which wasnt even new at the time of building that queue, had a better and more scenic queueline that actually took you somewhere, than the headline multi million Smiler's queue of eternal misery and soggy feet
 

Squiggs

TS Team
I love how the Black Hole, which wasnt even new at the time of building that queue, had a better and more scenic queueline that actually took you somewhere

Since we're talking random paving features - the reason for The Blackhole's strangely scenic queueline was because this was actually the original track for the Vintage Cars. When the cars were moved to the Land of Make Believe, their old track was simply paved over to extend the queue.
 
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