replaced. This was because they were all involved in a swindle to cheat our box office takings. The system we had was that a ticket was sold and when the customer entered the cinema, the usherette tore the ticket in half, putting one half on a spike (like a large needle) attached to a string, the other half was then given back to the customer.

These strung together half tickets were kept, and spot checks were done, to make sure the ticket numbers were in sequence and that the box office amount tallied with the number of tickets sold. Sometimes these spot checks were also carried out by the film distributors, as they also had an interest, as they were paid an agreed percentage of the takings.

What we discovered was that when the ticket was issued by the cashier the usherette sometimes failed to tear the ticket in half (one half was to be given to the customer), then having shown the customer to a seat, she quickly gave the ticket back to the cashier to sell again.

This extra sale was later split between the three of them. It soon amounted to quite a lot, even though it was only done at quiet times several times a day. Once sold again, the usherette then quickly added her half to the string to keep the numbers on the tickets in order.

The discovery was made by paying one of our usherettes, or assistants from another city, to go and buy a ticket and to stay in the cinema for a couple of hours.

Whilst inside he, or she kept their half ticket and had a counter to add up every person that came in. Then a spot check was carried out to see how many half tickets were on the string, after their ticket number, to see if this number tallied with the head count. This detective work was used at various times at every one of our cinemas.

My Own Department

Later, I set up my own department at head office, responsible for all newspaper advertising, the 'Front of House' publicity and to create a new house style that would make our company name better known. This involved creating a logo.

But first of all, the promotion of our programs involved changing the look at each cinema, so instead of relying on a few posters in frames, I organised that the entrance foyers were wherever possible boarded up and decorated with a much larger display, depicting the programs from floor to ceiling. This made so much more impact, as even people further away, or driving past, could easily see what was showing.

We had also changed some news theatres to become continental film cinemas, showing the best European films from famous film directors. So, for many years, our cinemas had been known as; The News Theatre, The Tatler, The Times, The Monseigneur and later The Cinephone. Few people knew of the name 'Jacey Cinemas' so my department set about designing how we could change the name of our cinemas to 'Jacey' and form a house style.

I employed Vicky Wright (with public relations experience) as well as a young graphic designer, our logo came about from my idea to use the primary colours of film emulsion, magenta, cyan, and yellow.

This logo lined up with the Jacey name (in grey expanded Egyptian) it was soon approved and was introduced at every property and cinema. All our stationery was redesigned, and all newspaper adverts always included this logo. We also created 'Miss Jacey' to represent our company at various events, Aisha Ahmed was an usherette at our news theatre who had won a beauty contest, she was lovely and had a nice personality and with my mother’s guidance she became a great success, the press loved her!

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