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History of the Regent Theatre: 1989

By Allan Webb Prev | Next

With newer releases, due to the booking arrangement with Pacer Kerridge, business improved and we were starting to get some quite good weeks again. There were still the 200 odd weeks but we were getting more weeks of a thousand or so people. With the buying agreement for the confectionary bar, this was also giving us an increase in profits. It was amazing how much of a discount they were getting due the size of their organization and the enormous quantities of goods that they got through. We were able to take advantage of these concessions.

The January holiday period had picked up and 1,000 people attended each week with some new, although not very strong, releases. Some new pictures such as the Australian film called Evil Angels, gave us much better figures than if we had the usual older release titles at that time. We didn't get Who Framed Roger Rabbit until after the holidays and therefore the box office results were very disappointing for a film that had done exceptional business a month or two beforehand.

A Fish Called Wanda was popular and ran for a month with a total of 1,886 admits and it was followed by Rainman with 1,215 and another print was supplied a week later, when 399 more came.

This period continued to produce films that did not have very strong public appeal.

School holidays were becoming more popular and in August of 1989 over 2,400 attended in one week. The day and date films were The Karate Kid 3, The Bear, Care Bears 3 and Lethal Weapon 2.

This was just after we had installed a brand new Cinemeccanica Victoria 5 automated projector in Cinema 2. The automation was by a card that was joined in a circular fashion after little holes were punched in it. As it moved around, each hole would click a switch and tell the projector what to do. We had different cards for different programmes which had to be changed accordingly. It was a limited, but nevertheless successful, method of automation.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Dead Poet's Society were quite good with about a thousand coming to see each film.

TV3 was to start transmitting at the end of November but as that time of the year was always terrible, the figures were probably just comparable to other years with 250 – 360 over the six weeks.

Unfortunately, the Pacer Kerridge organisation was in decline as mentioned and it was becoming apparent that its future was starting to look suspect. Our association had been most successful, but the confectionary arrangement had ended due to slow payments by them to the large distributors and I decided to go it alone in this area which was a shame.

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