Hop On The Magic Movie Bus
By Jonathan Poet
The Vintage Mobile Cinema is a one-of-a-kind automotive restoration project - The only survivor among seven mobile cinemas custom built for the British government in the late 1960s.
The vehicles initially were operated by the Production Engineering Research Association and had the prosaic mission of teaching engineers about the latest factory production techniques. The bus has a unique steel-framed plastic dome that housed the film projection equipment apart from the cinema, which has a stepped floor to ensure clear views.
Reclaimed and renovated, the bus now sports a fully upholstered 22-seat theater, a high-definition digital projection unit and Dolby surround sound. Through March, it's taking part in the Movie Bus Project in North Devon. The project has it traveling the countryside showing newly digitized archive footage of life in southwest England during the 20th century, including some fascinating looking images from the sea.
The other six movie buses are believed to be lost. Also missing: the trailers that each bus hauled. They were initially used for displays associated with the manufacturing presentations. For now, the restored vehicle has a decidedly modern trailer with a solar panel that allows it to present its unique films off the grid, without a generator. [Via Jalopnik]