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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 238 (227)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 238
Page 238

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 238

Recommended Systems for Cash Control

An Analysis of the Admission, Collection, and Control Nkuhods dun;ldave Produced Speed and Ihfnjency

Here is a detailed account of whats wrong with ordinary ticketselling methods in Drive-In Theatres, with some practical suggestions, based on experience, for eliminating accounting errors as well as voluntary theft. Mr. Stobcr presents the hit-or-miss Car Hop system in all its inefficiency and then describes a system for bringing the Drive-Ins, cash control methods up to date.

To re-establish strict accounting, NIr. Stober installs cashiers in place of messenger boy Car Hops and at a distance from the box office, preferably near the darkened slum: area, a ticket taker. lllechanized aidsia new Drive-In ticket issuing machine utilizing a specially designed ticket and an automatic car counter augment the efficiency and value of the new system.

The Car Hop System

The most popular method of admission collections now in use in Drive-In Theatres is so loose in its cash and accounting control that, after using the system for one season, the operator of one of the countryls largest Drive-In Theatres went on record with this state lNSEHTED UNDER the windshield wiper blade, this ticket provides an instant check on the number of paid admissions and car occupants.

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General Sales Manager General Ro-gisler Cor/1., Long Island City, N. Y.

ment: ttIf we use this system for another season, we will sell the car hop concessions at $5,000.00 per Car Hop per season, and have no trouble in securing personnel at those prices!"

The system referred to above is known as the Car Hop System. How it got started no one seems to know exactly. The pioneers of the Drive-In Theatre movement started collecting admissions by using a Cashier in a box office, with a Runner, who has come to be known as a Car Hop, operating between the box office and the car. The Car Hop surveys the occupants in the car, announces the total amount to be paid for the cars admission, takes the money from the occupant of the car, delivers the money to the box oliice, receives the tickets and the change from the Cashier, tears the tickets in two, drops half of them. in a waste basket and delivers the remaining half of the tickets, plus the change, to the car.

It is quite probable that the Car Hop system was devised in an effort to attain speed in admission. In fact, surveys indicate that the system does accomplish speed of operation. However, the factor of protection in the way of accounting control was lost by elimination of the doormanls function of collecting the ticket at some point remotely located from the box office, and by a person other than the one who issued it. Actually the Car Hop has no other function than as a delivery medium. Nor can the Cashier operate in the conventional manner. Her requests for tickets does not come from the patron, but rather once again from the Car Hop. Abuse of the Car Hop System, that evoked the five thousand dollar concession statement, is exemplified in the following episode: A dishonest Car Hop, working at a Drive-In Theatre that charges 50c total admission for adult patrons, collected $2.00 from a car that contained four adults. Running over to the box office during a busy hour, the dishonest Car Hop asked the Cashier for two tickets and paid her $1.00 of the $2.00 collected from the car. The, two tickets were then torn in half making four pieces and these four half-tickets were returned to the car as the patrons' receipts. The second dollar found its way into the dishonest Car Hopls pocket. This theft from the Drive-In owner and from the U.S. Government was conceived within the mind and executed solely by the operation of one personH the Car Hop! The basic fallacy of the system is that it is unnecessary for the Car Hop to collaborate with any one in order to steal.

An Improved System

The Drive-In operator referred to at the outset of this article, decided that some sort of rectification must take place in order to provide his Drive-In theatre with a system basically sound from an accounting and functional standpoint and facile in its operation. A simple analysis showed that the Car Hop systemls defect was the lack of a second person corresponding to the doorman in conventional theatre operation. Therefore, a doorman was added who operated in a position located as remotely from the box ofhce as was practical. It was found that one Ticket Taker could easily take the tickets from tWo lines of cars much faster than two Car Hops could sell them. By regulating the Ticket Takerls work on this basis, the operator encountered no additional delay in admitting the patrons to the theatre.

The system now required the Car Hop to give back to the patron the whole, ticket along with his change. Then the Ticket Collector took the whole ticket from the patron at his point of operation, tore it and returned half as a receipt. The Ticket Collectorls check upon the proper number of tickets for the occupants of the car not only put a stop to any Car Hop manipulation, but also provided a system that gave a double check against errors or improper collections.

Aside from having to install special

THE AUTOMATICKET CAR COUNTER, easily connected with the ticket issuing machine by plug. ging. can be placed in any good location.
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 238