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On Being A Cinema Manager!! - a Memory of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Having written the last article on children's matinees so many memories flitted through my brain, so I had to write them down! And no doubt I shall add to them over the weeks.

Going back to the old Corona at Felling, I just remembered that I was very young fresh out of the Navy and full of my own importance! And didn't know anything! My first day there was hard to forget, I went into the stalls and walked down towards the stage and this cleaner called Annie came out of the toilet she had been cleaning and shouted at me to get off her still wet mopped floor. Down the aisle she came running at me, waving her dirty wet mop at me and I shouted "But I am the manager!". "So what?!" she shouted back. So I got out of there quickly, back to my tatty little office and hid till she had gone! A good start to my first day! That evening, standing on the front of house steps with the doorman (who was an ex policeman and very big with it!) in the late evening sun, I told him that I wanted the house lights to come up when the intervals were on. So off he went, muttering to himself, and from then on for over two weeks the audience dropped off to a trickle.

One night I was bemoaning the fact that there was no one in the hall and he said "Well you silly b-----r! It's all your fault!". "Why?"I asked. "Well, no b-----r comes here with his own wife! And they don't want to be lit up by you! So put the bloody lights out!". And I did, and within a week we were back to packed houses!

I was told to put the House Full and Queue Here signs out on the pavement if we were empty inside, and we would get a good second house! And it worked!

I was told to always put the heating up high 20 minutes before the ice cream girls went out to sell, now that could double your sales! The other thing was that if it was a children's show you put lollies and cheap choc bars on the trays. The same applied to sweets! Children wanted gob stoppers and wine gums and so on. If it was a posh show or film then it would be exotic tubs and Parfaits.
Talk about trade secrets!


A memory shared by David Hinge on Sep 5th, 2009. Send David Hinge a message

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