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           contfrompage 8                                             Presid:entia( :Messaqe
           foreigners.For  a  moment  I  was  puzzled,  and  then
           M'sieur.Bitterlen's warning snapped into focus.  "It will not   As President of C.A.T.H.S.(Vl for  1999 I thought I should
           cost you anything to get into the cinema, but you must 'tip'   write to inform the membership about myself as my profile
           the  usherette  ,  otherwise,  to  your embarassment,  she  will   in the society has  not been as high as I  would have liked
           remain at your side until you do!" Hurridly I scrambled bcrck   over the years. I joined C.A.T.H.S in 1993 after finding out
           along the row,  delved into my pocket, handed her all the   it  existed  through  one  of the  Regent Theatre  open  days
           loose change I had - how much I bad no idea - and edged my   being held at the time.
           way back to my seat. When I  glanced back in her direction,   I started in the cinema industry in 1966 at the AUSTRALIA
           she had disappeared  and I never saw her again.       Cinema as an assistant projectionist.
           Quelle damage! She was rather attractive.
                                                                In  early  1969  I  joined  Hoyts  Theatres  when  they  were
           You see as impecunious Aussie tourists, we had forgotten   recrniting staff for the Cinema Centre due to open mid year.
           that in most Parisian cinemas, the usherettes pay the man-  After 3 months  at the ATHENAEUM Theatre I moved to
           agement to be allowed to work there.Their sole  income is   the  Cinema  Centre  a  couple  of weeks  prior  to  open-
           from the gratuities they receive.                     ing,wbere I  stayed,  until  197l,when late  that year I  was
                                                                transferred to the Mid City Cinemas.
           At  the other end of the "usherette scale" years ago when
           HOYTS ARMADALE  THEATRE had changed  hands,  a        I obtained my projection licence in 1972 and was sent out
           friend  and  I  decided  to  see  Frank  Buck's  "BRING  'EM   in reliefprofection duties at various theatres including,
           BACK ALIVE"  at that  cinema.  Not knowing  what  size   the, BROADWAY CAMBERELL, BENTLEIGH, the ES-
           audience  the film would  attract  on a  Saturday night,  we   QUIRE theatre, and a number of drive in theatres, eventu-
           strolled  along to  the theatre  on the Saturday  afternoon to   ally becoming part of the drive in relief projection roster.
           book seats. At that time an optimistic family were trying to
           run the cinema.There was a husband and wife (he was the   I moved to Greater Union in November 1972 and started at
           projectionist  she looked after the books) and grandma who   the CHELSEA Theatre where I was projectionist until1975.
           ran the box office.                                  It was then back. to Hoyts,  off to Village and then to the
                                                                RM.I.T for 10 years as projectionist in the Radio Theatre.
           When we fronted up at the box office on a  Saturday after-  My last few years have been spent at Palace Theatres and
           noon, while a  Saturday matinee was  in progress, this gra-  Village.
           cious, but slightly vague elderly grandma asked us where we
           would like to sit for the evening session. When we said we   I  have  many  fond  memories  of my  time  in  the  cinema
           bad no particular preference, she  vacated the Box Office   industry ,from my early years at the AUSTRALIA, the re
           escorted us upstairs to the darkened dress circle and asked   release of SOUTH PACIFIC in 70mm when unprecedented
           us to point out the seats we would like.Anxious to  escape   full  house  business  was  recorded  stands  out  as  does  the
           this solicitude, I hurridly pointed out two seats somewhere   night the  then Prime Minister Harold Holt came to see a
           near the centre of a row at that moment partly occupied by   show.
           noisy matinee goers.
                                                                The memories good and bad are far to many to go into at
           "Go on then. Try them out Grandma commanded. "Try the   this time, they can be left till later.
           seats. See if they're comfortable for you".  So again, seeking
           the  quickest  way  of escape,  I  scrambled  past the seated   I  am very  proud to  be President of C.A.T .H.S,(V) and I
           patrons sat down, went through the motions of checking the   have a number of views on the direction I  would like to see
           seat for "bottom friendliness then scrambled back along the   our society move.
           row  to  inform  the  anxiously  waiting  lady  that  the  seats
           would be ideal for our purpose.Only then, did she deign to   With our new home being the SUN Theatre I  am sure We
           escort us downstairs to the exit.                    can now move forward and encourage new members to join
           When we arrived that night for the show, we discovered that
           the public bad stayed away in their thousands.The gracious   I  also  see  the  housing  of our  archives  at  The  Prahran
           grandma greeted us like royalty, and escorted us personally   Mechanics Institute a positive step as our archives will now
           to  our chosen and pre-tested seats.! think  there  were  ten   receive  professional  attention  and  care  and  can  now  be
           other people in the audience.  I also think on reflection that   accessed by our members 6 days a week .
           it was  probably  the  first  time  that  anyone had  "booked"
           seats for any of their shows. I look back on the experience as   Trusting we will have a good and successful year.
           one of life's oddities.  You know, I doubt whether Grandma   TREVOR WALTERS,
           would have lasted long as an usherette at the Byron Cinema   President CA.T.H.S.(V).
           on  the  Champs  Elysees  - nor  for  that  matter  in  one  of
           HOYT'S modem characterless multiplexes.
                                        DENZIL HOWSON.

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