David Ellis – I worked in three cinemas, and after in television. The first I worked in was the Palace, Warrington. The film that was showing when I started was The Crimson Pirate. I started in May 1964 as an assistant projectionist and I was only allowed to rewind and go down twice a day for a jug of tea. There was a stove in the box that was used to heat pies and the chief Joe Slevin would mend televisions in the box. The cinema closed in November 1964 with the film The Camp on Blood Island. The building became a Surewin bingo club. The building still stands.
Next was the Classic in Chester as a third projectionist. I started there in May 1965 and the first film I screened was McLintock. The building was demolished in 1971.
My last cinema was the Mayfair Aigburth, Liverpool. I started there in 1969 as second projectionist. There was only the two of us in the projection box. A Mr Brian Cubbon was the chief. We only operated together twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday. I took Monday and Tuesday off, Brian Thursday and Friday. We took every other Sunday off and worked on our own without a day off during holidays. The cinema closed in 1973 with the film The Last Picture Show. The building was demolished in the 1980s.
In 1974 I went to work for the BBC in London. I was based at Ealing Film Studios in the Film Department. I worked at TV Centre, Lime Grove, Alexander Palace and several other London buildings. I also went to Cardiff and Bristol. I was in the preview department showing film at its various production stages and showing transmission copies of features and other TV material before transmission.
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Take a look at the Fllickr album;
Filmed by David Ellis whilst working at the Mayfair Aigburth
David Ellis gives an insight into his cinema career
Part 2 – Working in the Mayfair Cinema – Aigburth
Cont: The Interior of the Mayfair Cinema
Part 3 The Usherettes of Mayfair Cinema Aigburth
Part 4 David has all the information you could ever ask for with regards to the Mayfair Cinema here in the sound recordings
Information on projectors in other cinemas
Davids blog page also gives information on the equipment at the Mayfair Cinema : http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/25158
Lady singing song on own
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Review for David’s new book