A Tempting Offer

We went with Michelle and Jason to California one year to visit my sister Rayner and her husband Jerry Needleman. They have a lovely home at a wonderful high location in Sausalito with a view of San Francisco over the Bay.

Whilst we were together, we all went to a holiday camp at the University of Santa Barbara just for a week and because Trudy and I were members of 'The International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society' our friend Bob Hall (a well-known Snuff Bottle Dealer) arranged for us to be invited to Neal Hunter's home that happened to be near to where we would be staying.

They were such a lovely couple, and we had such an amazing time with them one evening, when they showed us their own fabulous collection - what a treat that was!

We went into San Francisco a few times and we paid a visit to 'Sam Bernstein & Co.' the famous jade dealer shop in the Fairmont Hotel. Where we met Mr and Mrs Ashkenazie and had a very interesting time studying their jades, when in conversation we were surprised to learn that they were interested in buying a Jensen CV8, but even more surprising (having seen our collection), they told me they would really like someone like me, to act as a buyer for them in Europe!

They asked if we would ever like to live in San Francisco? We had loved spending time there and this sounded tempting, I said I would have to think about it. However, nothing further ever came from this discussion.

A Big Change About to Happen

The first difficulties that arose were that the larger cinema circuits started competing with us for the same specialised continental films. They were aware of our success and unfortunately, they had far stronger booking power.

All this at a time when videos were first introduced causing the cinema takings to go down.

Also, for the few remaining cartoon and comedy shows the main distributors were persuaded to sell the rights to television and were withdrawing our supply.

The End of The Jacey Group of Companies

This was when my grandfather had sadly passed away and my father and my uncle decided they wanted to retire. We had a directors meeting, and as most of our cinemas were now on short leases and the new rates demanded to renew were far too high for us to continue to operate at a profit, we decided to sell, whilst we could and to put the companies into voluntary liquidation.

Before taking this decision, we had diversified and tried some other business ventures. Such as: -

The conversion of our cinema at Marble Arch into a high-class shopping centre, consisting of antique shops, art and craft galleries and a coffee bar.

The conversion of our cinema in the Strand, London into the first stamp collecting centre, full of independent stamp dealers who paid a rent for their units.

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