Cinema Royal (with update)

facade Royal Cinema 1935right hand curl-oldArt Deco

In the days that life was still good and film titles still brilliant , in the Hinthamer street in Den Bosch there was a cinema: Cinema Royal. On a photograph from approximately 1935 we see Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable star in the poster of the movie 'It Happened One Night'. On a recent photograph, they are replaced by the neon letters of Zeeman stores. Apparently the cinema itself was an adaptation; the Art Deco facade still contains a few ornaments from an earlier date.

new facade Royal Cinema; Zeeman. before the placement of new Udelfanger sandstone blocks.A scroll without curling

Time does not stand still and to be able to allow for a nice big canopy on the façade, the outer curls were cut away from the scroll that bears the name of the cinema. Later Den Bosch got new requirements for advertising and shop fronts were to be restored in old style as far as possible. That's where I come in: I was asked if I could recarve those curls into new stone after the old picture.

new left scroll curl in Udelfanger sandstoneScaffolding, or rather not

The end result will be best when you can create something on the spot, then you know that everything fits. The disadvantage though is that you can not make any mistakes, there usually are lots of things in the way, one can not work properly around the pieces because they are embedded in existing blocks, and the most important thing is that nowadays no grain of dust is allowed in a residential area. No cutting, carving with a dust collector on top, and lord have mercy if a speck of dust should fall down.

Udelfanger sandstone

new scroll curls in Udelfanger sandstoneTherefore, I was glad I could carve it in my own workshop. I'm already not too fond of working on a scaffold, because everything takes one and a half times as long.
It's just much more cumbersome. With the profile templates I was supplied , the dimensions and some new Udelfanger sandstone blocks I went to work. Quite the different job for inbetweens.

Update 3 March 2017:

Cinema Royal matching the curl to its surroundings

The adapting of the connections. Photo credit: Bart Woudenberg/Slotboom Stonemasons

Bart Woudenberg of Slotboom Stonemasons Winterswijk sent me a photo taken during placement and wrote: "I have no pictures of the whole finished work. But here is one image of the left curl that I had on my phone. This was taken during the process of according. After that, we coloured the new pieces with KEIM and thus the the final result has become "perfect". If I happen to be near Den Bosch again I will one day try to take a photograph of the facade.’

Adjusting the fit is the final process of adapting the newly made blocks in situ to the surrounding stone. Keim is a brand name for specific dyes, paints and mortars for natural stones. By the colouring of the fresh new stone the newly inserted blocks don't stand out as much, and it becomes one complete unit again. On the picture is shown how the stonemasons are adapting some of the edges of the new blocks by removing material. After that, it will all be finished smoothly.

Update april 2019: some pictures and a video

Three before and after photos is the blog of Koen van Velzen, sculptor in stone and bronze. Look up my website as well:

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