Fascinating film featuring Richard Todd - talking up the cinema industry. 1958 or 1959
Television cameras film a theatre set. A door bearing the nameplate "Richard Todd" is opened and we are invited to "come in and sit down".
Richard Todd talks about problems within the film industry over the last few years (presumably related to the drop in attendances due to television). He was present at the opening of the ABC cinema in Preston a few days previously and wants to show the audience how Associated British have faith in films and the cinema industry. They are "alive to the problems and want to beat them".
This is a Candid Camera television broadcast and Richard speaks of how cinema and television can coexist. High angle shot of the cinema in Preston. Front of cinema with sign advertising the film "The Reluctant Debutante". Greetings telegrams are displayed on a board outside the cinema. A woman in an apron washes the entrance steps. Local people read the telegrams (young boys with mouths agape and ladies with scarves around their heads and large shopping bags). C/U of telegrams including ones from Janette Scott and Sylvia Sims.
C/U of woman washing step. Two huge baskets of flowers are brought into the foyer. Flowers are displayed. Wilton carpets and contemporary decor are mentioned. Another cleaner scrubs interior steps. Top shot of the cinema seats being dusted by team of women. A man vacuums. Cleaning lady goes into the ladies and wipes shelves and mirrors. Man polishes the glass front door. The automatic air conditioner is described and shown in detail. Luxurious auditorium is shown from the stalls and the balcony. Front of the cinema at dusk with the lights going on.
Manager in his office - Jim Bonnick (sp?) - putting on his tail coat. He inspects his staff, women lined up in uniform. He checks that everyone is looking perfect. Police put up barricades to hold excited crowd back.
People arrive for the premiere. Shots in foyer. Women buy their sweets from the kiosk.
Mr D.J. Goodlad (Managing Director of ABC) and wife arrive at the cinema opening. Mr W. Cartlidge - General Manager of ABC and Alderman Mrs M.A. Withnall, the Mayor and the Lady Mayoress also arrive. Everyone shakes hands and the ladies are presented with large bouquets.
Richard Todd arrives. Shots of the crowd including smiling policemen and autograph hunters. Programme sellers are winners of a contest to find the 12 most beautiful girls in Preston. Long trumpets with banners are blown. Signals are given to start the show. Shots of the projection room. House lights go out and the curtains open.
Richard Todd signs his autograph for the programme sellers and two of the girls pretend to kiss him.
Note: negs for this film are suffering from mould; could account for the telecine transfer being very contrasty.