Golden age of usherettes celebrated - The Evesham Observer

Golden age of usherettes celebrated

Evesham Editorial 26th May, 2018   0

A TRIP back to the golden age of cinema will be on offer as The Regal in Evesham celebrates the lives of former cinema usherettes.

Customers will be able to enjoy a free screening of the 1953 classic How to Marry a Millionaire and hear about how usherettes were once a vital part of the cinema experience.

The event on Monday, June 18 will also be captured by the BBC’s The One Show who will be filming for a feature celebrating the lives of former cinema usherettes.

Eva Balogh, a senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, began a project in the 1990s: Stars in the Aisles: The History of the Cinema Usherette.

She found there was very little written or documented about usherettes and their place in cinema history so interviewed several former usherettes who had worked at cinemas in Portsmouth during the 1930s to 1970s.

These interviews revealed fascinating insights about their significant contribution to the cinema experience, as well as their own aspirations.

“I would have loved to be a film star – being an usherette was the nearest I could get to it,” said former usherette, Florence Wall, about her experiences of working in Portsmouth picture palaces of the 1930s and 1940s.

Since then, the project has continued to grow and Ms Balogh has written articles about the usherette, given public talks, presented at international conferences, held exhibitions and created a website, which is the only comprehensive collection of usherette material to be found on the Internet.

Bringing together former usherettes and Ms Balogh’s research, The Last Usherettes, will celebrate the women who stood at the threshold of the real world and the movies.

Regal customers are invited to attend this special event free of charge and relive the glamour of cinema and dress in stylish 1930’s attire to celebrate the golden age of cinema and the women who lit the way to a world of dreams.

“I’m so thrilled to be working with The Regal and The One Show to showcase the role of the usherette in cinema history,” Eva said.

“We’re very keen to hear from former usherettes and their families so please do get in touch if you have some stories to tell or any memorabilia you’d like to feature in our exhibition!”

There will also be an usherette exhibition, by invitation only, in The Regal’s circle bar featuring items from Eva’s personal collection and cinema uniforms kindly loaned by the Cinema Museum.

Anyone interested is asked to e-mail [email protected]. for more information.

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