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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 438 (414)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 438
Page 438

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 438

Suggestions for Theft Protection

Steps a Theatreman Can Take to Guard Against Loss Along With a Private Organization are Summarized

Although theatres annually forfeit large sums of money to holdup men, these losses are relatively slight when compared to the thousands of dollars which go into the pockets of both outside and inside thieves. The former group often consists of patrons who are quick to take advantage of the opportunity for theft presented by an unlocked door to a managers oflice, boxofiice, or storeroom. Many such culprits have been known to loiter undetected in the house until it is closed for the night and then proceed to pilfer at will. Street prowlers will likewise be quick to spy any possible means of access to a theatre and will make off with any cash or property they can lay their hands on.

By and large, however, dishonest employees are responsible for the majority of losses in cash receipts and property. Unscrupulous doormen often become so proficient in the well-known art of (tpalmingli tickets that their sleight-ofhand tricks escape notice completely, and dishonest cashiers, who often work hand in hand with dishonest ticket takers, frequently become expert also in such practices as the resale of tickets. As a matter of fact, there have been some instances in which the manager, doorman, and cashier have all acted in collusion to steal from the owner by the use of counterfeit, extra, or previously sold tickets. Similarly, dishonest refreshment stand personnel have been known


Manager. Department of Criminal Investigation Pinkt'rlon's National Detective Agency, Inc.

---.-- BRIEF: Theatres . . . due to their ready accessibility . . . are one of the easiest preys for thieves . . either outsiders or employees . . . Hence, the protection of theatre cash and property has been . . . for many years . . . a major concern of exhibitors . . . Unfortunately . . . just like many other types of businessmen . . theatre operators frequently fail to take the most obvious steps to protect their funds and property. Every showman can. adopt certain simple precautionary measures himself . . . but an, additional degree of security may be added by engaging the services of a reliable protective agency . . . Discussed in the following article are the fundamental safeguards'which the theotre operator himself may follow. . . and the aid which a private organization can give him . . . in preventing and uncovering instances of theft.

---- to steal funds and merchandise from this important source of theatre revenue.


While the number of schemes used to defraud and pilfer theatres are practically unlimited in number, losses from such crimes may be sharply curtailed or

CHECKING, both blind and ope-n,- usually depends on small hand counter; however careful and studied recording oi results, over a suihCIent period to establish a pattern, is usually needed to establish theft.

eliminated completely by the adoption of a few common-sense protective measures.


Every theatre should be equipped with a strong burglar-proof safe, kept carefully locked at all times other than those when it must be opened to make deposits and withdrawals. Only completely trustworthy employees should know the combination of the safe, and when one of them leaves the employ of the theatre, the combination should be immediately changed. The door of the room in which the safe is located should be kept locked whenever valuables are transferred to and from the safe to prevent would-be thieves from entering.

Periodic tests should be made of any protective devices connected to the safe, and all types of checks and equipment

for their preparation should be placed

in the safe, along with actual cash, to guard against possible forgery.


The theatre premises should be equipped with strong doors, secure locks, and barred windows wherever possible. If a key is lost or missing with the possibility that someone may make a duplicate of it, the lock in question should be changed immediately.

Outside door locks should be equipped with dead bolts, for spring bolts may be forced back by inserting thin flexible blades of metal or celluloid between the the door and the jamb. Keys should never be issued to employees who do not need them to perform their duties efficiently.

Protective Devices

In addition to burglar alarm systems, tiprotectionl, signs often act as deterrents to prospective marauders. These signs, however, must be supported by a reputable organization performing sufficient detective service to back up the warning. If not, they merely give the user a false sense of security and are seldom respected by criminals.

Ticke'l' Controls

Since ticket manipulations constitute one of the prime sources of revenue loss, every precaution possible should be taken to stop them, by mechanical as Well as human means. Ticket-issuing machines with counters and registers to check numbers and denominations of tickets sold, stub rod control boxes and ticket choppers to facilitate the maintenance of automatic records, and perforated tickets with the date of issuance printed thereon and which do not need to be folded and cannot be counterfeited, thus making Hpalming" or reselling infinitely more difficult, are all recommended for this purpose.

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 438