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Staff on parade c1964

The Regent Cinema staff: c1964
From the private collection of Harry Atkins

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  • This really points up what a different experience cinema-going was back in the day, as compared to the twenty-first century equivalent. Commissionaires in peaked caps to police the queue and welcome you in, usherettes with torches to find you a vacant seat and sell you an ice-cream in the interval. And those wonderful archaic uniforms! If it really took that many people to run just the front of house – no projectionists or technical people shown? – as late as 1964, it’s no wonder the cinemas became uneconomic and closed. These days my local multiscreen complex has more screens than staff members, or so it seems – a couple to sell tickets, a couple more to check them and a couple more to man the burger and popcorn stand. And you only get one film for your money, not two as was almost invariably the case back then. But at least there’s plenty of leg room nowadays!

    By Len Liechti (04/11/2010)

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