Ackery was also a stickler for detail. If it were a slow night, he would instruct the usherettes to seat the people throughout the auditorium. “A lop-sided house looks terrible,” he said. When a new film opened, he would sit in the theatre for the first showing. Then he would have a discussion with the projectionist the running time and the volume of the sound. He might have suggested cutting a piece from the newsreel if the feature was too long
“If the feature was a drama, I might suggest an increase in the sound volume at just the right moment to give the heroine’s screams maximum effect . . . I emceed most of the shows myself, in the belief that the public enjoyed having their own manager, for the informal atmosphere that gave to the program.”
Ivan made many trips to Hollywood and New York to pick up awards for his promotional efforts. On these trips, he would associate with celebrities such as Gene Tierney, Michael Caine, Victor Jory, Alan Ladd, Elizabeth Taylor, Ethel Merman, Bob Hope, George Sanders, Jack Benny and so many others. However, he never felt quite comfortable around them, as I have said before.
There were some he was able to feel at home around though.
"One day [in 1947] we were going onto the set at RKO where The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer was being made, with Shirley Temple, Myrna Loy, Cary Grant, Rudy Vallee and Ray Collins. The P.R. man went over and told Mr. Grant that I’d said I was from Bristol and knew where his mother was. She’d run a store in Bristol for years, quite close to where my family lived. “He walked over to me and in that particularly rapid, clipped way of speaking he had, he said, ‘You from Bristol?’
Thanks goes to The History of Metropolitan Vancouver website for the information and the copy of the movie photo.
Friday, I will tell you about Ivan and Gary Cooper. Until then, I hope you find the beauty around you.