THE HISTORY OF

JACEY CINEMAS LTD

&

VIDEOS

JOSEPH COHEN
& OUR FAMILY BUSINESS


SCRAPBOOK PHOTOGRAPHS
&
NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS

EXTRA NOTES 

 

KEN RIVE
& GALA FILMS

 

JC-COMMUNITY
INVOLVEMENT

 Joseph Cohen, Jacey Cinemas Ltd., News Theatre,

Tatler, Monseigneur, Jacey

By John Neville Cohen

 

Our Family Business
Over 50 Years
&
3 Generations

Joseph Cohen, Mr JC, Jacey, Joe.

Joseph Cohen

The Jacey Group of Companies
&
Jacey Cinemas Ltd

 

My dear Grandpa Joe (Joseph Cohen) was a prominent Birmingham solicitor, an important property developer, entrepreneur and a cinema proprietor.  From the early 1930's he created a number of limited companies, that all became part of the Jacey Group of companies.  He was extremely successful and his generosity was well known and much appreciated in so many circles. 

He owned the Lissiter's Royal restaurant and started in property with Jack Cotton, as his partner, in the early days and the first development undertaken together, was the creation of King Edward House in New Street, Birmingham. They continued with a few successful joint projects that included the building of the Kenilworth Court apartments  and Somerset House in Birmingham.  

(Note: Jack Cotton went on to continue, as chairman, to create 'City Centre' the biggest property development company in the world, with a valuation in 1961, on the stock market of 65 million!) 

Joe continued to develop large blocks of apartments, mainly within the Calthorpe estates area.  These included Calthorpe Mansions at five Ways, Norfolk Court at Hagley Road and Moorland Court in Melville Road.  He also built houses and had two roads named after him, Jacey Road in Edgbaston and Jacey Road in Shirley.  

He built 72 Woodbourne Road, Edgbaston as his own family home and was involved in Bournemouth with the Jacey House offices in the centre and Tollard Court at West Cliff where he had a ground floor apartment.  

He continued with his property development interests with the formation of the Jacey Gillis Properties Ltd in Scotland with Harold Gillis.

Grandpa was fascinated with cinemas and film.  He began in 1915 (aged 26) together with Sol Levy, when they acquired the screen rights of Ethel M. Dell a popular novelist, but their film company was bought out 2 years later. 

During his career he was involved with over 50 cinemas and he built The Wylde Green and the Stirchley Pavilion in Birmingham. 

He was also a pioneer of the News Theatres and he built up a chain of cinemas, having bought out the Monseigneur group.  

Jacey Cinemas then controlled the largest group of specialised city centre cinemas in the UK, ranging from Edinburgh to Brighton with several in London's West End. 

My father George Cohen (also a solicitor) joined Grandpa and ran the company with more cartoons, comedy and short travel/general interest films, later, introducing continental feature films, as TV took over providing the news.  Also our Baker St, London cinema was changed to Jaceyland for the best of Walt Disney films.  

The Company diversified by also running cigarette, ice cream and confectionery Kiosks, Restaurants and Coffee Bars. Later a specialised shopping Art and Antique Gallery at Marble Arch London, a Riding School Centre and Farm at Pathlow, near Stratford upon Avon.  The last venture was for modern postage stamp collectors, by Dealing in Modern UK Stamps with printing errors.  

I too joined the company in 1957 starting off as a projectionist and learning about cinema management under our general manager Mr Tonks.

Later, I started my own department, that was to design and control the front of house publicity, as well as the marketing and advertising.  This was when we decided on a new look and logo to publicise the Jacey name.  

I employed, a graphic designer and a PR lady to assist and we really enjoyed a number of our special promotions.  This was when Aisha, who worked for us as an usherette, came to our attention, she had been chosen for the University front cover (and had done well in a beauty queen competition) just at the time when we needed someone to promote the Jacey name.

 

72, Woodbourne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

72 Woodbourne road, Edgbaston

 

When we met her, we were all dazzled by her smile and so 'Miss Jacey' was created.  Grandpa was often fondly referred to simply as Mr. JC and it was from this, that the business name was created.

My publicity department ended up designing the film publicity for some of the film distributors too.  So often the film promotion used abroad would not have appealed to the UK public. 

My Uncle Stanley (George's younger brother) started manufacturing jersey ladies fashion with Kurt Rosenburg as his partner under the name 'Lerose'. This company traded from the late 1940's to the early 1970's.  

He then joined Grandpa in the Jacey property department managing the various properties.  

Later as a keen postage stamp collector, he controlled the Jacey Stamp Centre (formerly the Jacey in the Strand cinema) which was converted to provide small units for various postage stamp dealers.  I was asked to help him run a new business based on selling modern postage stamps, with printing faults, to collectors from our offices in Temple Street, Birmingham.   

Just over a year after Grandpa had passed away on his birthday in 1980, aged 91, (various cinema leases were running out and the proposed new rentals were far too high for our cinemas to continue), so we all decided the time had come to sell them on. 

Also Dad and I were disenchanted with the films that provided the best box office results.  In addition both Dad and Uncle Stanley wanted to retire, so we agreed to sell out.  Saville Gordon bought all the remaining properties and our cinemas had gradually been sold to various others.  

So the Jacey Group of companies went into voluntary liquidation at the end of 1981.             
John Neville Cohen


Verification References

 

THE HISTORY OF

JACEY CINEMAS LTD

&
VIDEOS
JOSEPH COHEN
& OUR FAMILY BUSINESS

 

SCRAPBOOK PHOTOGRAPHS
& NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS

EXTRA NOTES 

 

KEN RIVE
& GALA FILMS

 

JC-COMMUNITY
INVOLVEMENT

Below a published report about the type of films we were unhappy to be involved in
by Pearson Phillips

 

It is, said one critic, "the nastiest film I have ever seen" Said another "It's a long time since a film disgusted me as much as Peeping Tom ... beastly picture."

These quotations are proudly displayed in the advertising for the Gala Royal Cinema, Marble Arch (which is showing Peeping Tom at the moment).

I don't know whether the critics were justified. But the fact that their verdicts of nastiness, disgust and beastliness are being exploited to draw customers seemed to me to be one of the most unwholesome gimmicks in film advertising.

Doesn't approve
Yesterday the joint boss of the Gala Royal bought seven more cinemas.  

He is Mr Joseph Cohen, Birmingham solicitor and head of Jacey Cinemas Ltd. which has just taken over the Monseigneur group for a reported 500,000.

Three men and Peeping Tom

Does this mean that the seamy policy is going to spread?

"Oh, dear" said Mr Cohen, on holiday in Bournemouth, "did the critics say that?  Well, I certainly didn't approve of exploiting that kind of thing.

"I am afraid I am old-fashioned. I have asked my son not to associate me with anything like that.........I don't actually deal with any of the advertising"

   Over to Mr Cohen Jun., Mr George Cohen, speaking from his home in Birmingham: "Sordid? I think there is something in what you say, this is certainly not a thing we would advocate. But at least it shows people what to expect.

Didn't know
"Let's face up to it. Our business is really a kind of showmanship. We have got to attract the public. This is just one way of doing it. Psychologically, this is quite a good way of exciting their curiosity ........ though I suppose you could say it is rather an unwholesome kind of curiosity.

"We only share the running of this cinema with Gala Films. They do the publicity and select the films. I didn't even know this was in the paper"

Over to Gala Films, London. To Mr. Frank Hazell, who looks after publicity.

"I am afraid you are putting me on a spot here. I was partly responsible for this.

"My line in using these quotations was simply to ask people 'Do you believe this? Come and see' And, incidentally, they are coming.

"Does the fact that they are coming justify my using this kind of draw? Well, let's face it. this is what we are in the business for, to get people to come and see the films."

Three embarrassed men profiting from something they should be ashamed of.

Fred Majdalany called this film "thoroughly nasty." In my view, that goes for this method of advertising it as well.

 

NOTE

 

We spent quite a lot on National press advertising and on the front of house displays, about the poor quality cheaply produced nudist films that had proved so popular.  Our campaign was based on an increased number of performances, greatly reduced ticket prices all with the slogan "Why pay more?" 

My website is has been used as a reference source for a new publication
and a credit will be included.
'The Routledge Companion To British Cinema History'

Can be ordered on Amazon
prior to the publication in October 2016.

 

Links

'The Routledge Companion To British Cinema History'

 

About Jack Cotton

 

About the Early Properties

 

About Peeping Tom

 

THE HISTORY OF

JACEY CINEMAS LTD

&

VIDEOS

JOSEPH COHEN
& OUR FAMILY BUSINESS


SCRAPBOOK PHOTOGRAPHS
&
NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS

EXTRA NOTES 

 

KEN RIVE
& GALA FILMS

 

JC-COMMUNITY
INVOLVEMENT

BACK HOME
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DIRECT QUICK LINKS 

 

www.artist-john-cohen.net  
To John Neville Cohen's dedicated site for Painting with Light Limited edition (only 8 of each) picture, fine art prints for sale.

Articles for New Collectors
 
(Author John Neville Cohen)
 Invaluable help for collectors of Asian antiques. How to buy and avoid the most common mistakes, when buying antiques, particularly netsuke, inro, snuff bottles and jade.

The Cohen Collection  
Asian antiques (645 colour photos of fine Japanese and Chinese antique; netsuke, inro, ojime, snuff bottles, pendants & jade carvings) all fully described by renowned experts Neil K. Davey + Robert Hall. An essential reference work for the serious collector that is beautiful and very easy to use.

Joseph Cohen & The History of Jacey Cinemas 
Information on our family business created by my Grandfather Joseph Cohen.

British Classic Jensen Cars  
(Author John Neville Cohen) Very informative about the rare Jensen 541S & CV8 sports cars, particularly about the little known superb Jensen 541S manual drive, a classic car with lots of photos.

Copyright Free or Royalty Free Stock Photographs  
These are very low cost 18MB  photographs that will not date!

A 'Special Effects' Course  
(Author John Neville Cohen)
 Amazing to see what can be done in pure  photography without any expensive equipment, computer, or darkroom.  All is achieved with a projector - the magical 'Magic Lantern'.  All details of this extraordinary technique is clearly explained and all for free!

Poetic Portfolio  
Fascinating photographic exhibition of 'The Magic Lantern' award winning 'special effect' photographs by John Neville Cohen.

La Alcazaba Apartment in Puerto Banus For Sale 
Outstanding 3 double bedroom apartment, all on one level, for sale at La Alcazaba, Puerto Banus, Marbella, Spain.

Investment Opportunities  
Opportunities, Property items for Sale.

Commercial Photography  
Professional photography and graphic design by Actuality photodigital.

Postage Stamps For Little People  
See all the pages and paintings for a unique way of collecting stamps.

The Planning & Paintings for The Album  
Shows the first sketches and paintings and an amusing letter.

Marilyn Monroe, Sir Michael Balcon, Arthur Miller, Cecil Day-Lewis & Daniel Day- Lewis 
The not so distant famous relatives of the Bind side of John's family.

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