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I was assistant manager here briefly between 1973-4 to the colourful Douglas Baker. Despite taking new releases a week after the Odeon, we regularly did better business. Once a junior projectionist opened the matinee very much the worse for wear following a lunchtime session causing me to shut down the show temporarily. No-one actually complained other than to point out the house lights were going up and down and the screen tabs opening and closing, all with the picture on the screen. In the box, the film was spilling all over the floor so the Chief had to be called in on his time off to put it right – and he was not best pleased.
This was my first post as a trainee cinema manager with Classic Cinemas in 1973. A Mrs Evans, then in her 70s was the manageress and the doorman, Walter, was in his 80s. The programme – cartoons, Movietone News, serial – ran round-the-clock from 11.00 am for about an hour with adverts. Tickets were bought at a street level kiosk on the walk through from Buckingham Palace Road into the station, which usually clocked up more in sweet and tobacco sales. There were regular complaints from women on their own about the attentions of other patrons – but mostly well after the event!