staff parade 1938

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Tiny damiandale

Featured Theater

Rear Balcony View

Odeon Birmingham

Birmingham, GB

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Uploaded on: November 21, 2013

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Date time: Sun Mar 04 22:50:57 -0800 2012

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staff parade 1938

A desperately rare photograph dating from 1938. A (seemingly staged) staff parade with the first theatres manager Leslie Holderness.I was once told on good authority, that fingernails, shoes , clothing and hair were checked every day before opening. The theatre being run like a ship. The projection/stage staff & maintenance men were never allowed into the main foyer while the theatre was open to the public. They had to use service staircases and passages.

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Comments (7)

Mike_Blakemore on January 12, 2014 at 10:44 am

The Checking of Staff every day was the norm for All Circuit Cinemas.. even the Clifton Circuit. Leslie Holderness ended up working for the Clifton Group as a Supervisor.. on October 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Sorry, it was 1938. I’m sure it’s Raymond. on October 22, 2014 at 9:32 pm

I’m trying to find Chris Cassidy, the Assistant Manager.He was about 23, and looked like a cross between Tyrone Power and Louis Hayward. always wore a dress suit and stiff shirt. His brother Sean and he drove us up from London one Yuletide and his mother stayed with us in Soho.(In a Morris 16, a nice quiet saloon car) Those were the days; all gone! on October 22, 2014 at 9:35 pm

BTW we always went in by the stage door,located at the end of a paved slope bordered by Littlewood’s on June 13, 2015 at 3:43 pm

They used flammable nitrate film with two projectors which would each take only 2000 feet of film at ninety feet per minute, guarded by heavy steel spool boxes. The projectionist had to wait at the end of each spool for a spot in the upper right hand corner of the screen, start the second projector and at the second spot switch off the first, and switch on the second projector simultaneously.The discarded film spool then was taken to a side room and manually rewound. you can sometimes see the indicator spots in some 35mm film that has been converted to DVD or VHS. Now I gather that film is acetate and non flammable so that you can project the whole movie with one spool. Regards, SA. on June 13, 2015 at 3:48 pm

P.S. Jackson, the projectionist in the early days, personally told me that sound quality was so good that it reached a 12000 Hertz frequency, compared with the shellac record which hit only 8000 Hz (or cps)The projection room was a mass of gear, amplifier racks, slide lanterns and much more. SA on June 16, 2015 at 7:29 pm

In the large group photo with Holderness, I feel sure that Chris Cassidy, the Assistant Manager, is at the extreme right, looking forward, behind the usherettes' second row. I must correct an error. Gene Autry is shaking hands with Sid Lewis (from my diary) and not Mr Smith.

If anyone wishes to see the army uniform worn by me as a temporary employee on the stage in a Christmas ‘39 tableau, I can still post it. Note the puttees: obsolete these days. SA

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