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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 363 (325)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 363
Page 363

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 363

noise filters through the theatre. Temperature? Ventilation? HaVe your ushers promptly report complaints from patrons on these allimportant comfort features! Cleanliness-a Star Attraction

Most Women patrons#yes, and men, tw are downright fussy about a theatre's housekeeping. A general look of untidiness mars their enjoyment of the Show. They may look for entertainment elsewhere. They may keep their children away from your theatre for good. So welcome your guests with a clear. sparkling hoxofiice Window (the better to show your cashier's friendly smile) and follow through with neatness and cleanliness in every part of the theatre. And remember, nothing gives a shabbier appearance than torn carpets or broken seats. Your theatre should have a clean odor as well as a clean look. Every inch of restrooms (including the hard-tmclean places) should be spotless. There should never be shortages in restroom supplies. As every efficient manager has proved. good housekeeping is not only good businessit's good for morale! A clean, tidy theatre inspires the whole staff to smarten up!

This bulletin, along with others containing helpful information on ticket systems, running a candy counter, fire prevention and control, first aid, handling robberies, etc, are sent out regularly to acquaint managers with correct procedures and to give employes, themselves, a feeling that management is helping them do their jobs easier and faster. This is another factor in achieving peak eiiiciency in the staff.

To acquaint staff members with the correct procedures in the performance of their duties, Hargroves supplies individual booklets of general instructions for the cashier, ticket taker, and ushers or usherettes.

Following are the instructions outlined

for the cashier:

1. Smile-Your appearance should be neat, clean, and attracting-and S-M-I-L-E.

2. Keep your boxoffice and shelves, etc., clean at all times. Never chew gum. eat candy or food, or smoke while on duty.

3. Answer your phone prom'ptlny-ive seconds is a long time to wait for someone to answer. Speak clearly and distinctly. Listen carefully. When answering the phone be sure to say tlgood afternoon" or "good evening,

. Theatre," and remember that a voice can smile as well as a face. End your conversation with "Thank you for calling." Do not tie up the phone with unnecessary incoming or outgoing personal calls.

4. Have no unnecessary conversation with the doorman or other employes, and do not visit with friends. Keep the space in front of your boxofiice clear so that patrons can find ready access to it. Where conversations of a business nature are necessary, please remember that patrons have a priority on your attention.

5. Remember that you can make friends for the theatre by showing patrons that you are courteous and anxious to serve.

6. Be careful in handling refunds and exchanges; handle them implicitly according to instructions. so there can never be any question about your honesty.

7. See that proper boxoffice signs are in place at all times.

8. Do not read magazines. books, or newspapers while in the boxofiice.

9. Do not manicure nails, etc.. while in the boxoflice.

10. The door must be locked at. all times.

Hargroves' general instructions for the

ticket taker are as follows:

1. Your primary job is to admit patrons upon presentation of a ticket or pass. Use tact and diplomacy at all times. Disputes arise when patrons present insufficient number of tickets. when teen-agch try to get in on a child's ticket. and when parents try to pass a child in who should have a ticket. Don't not as though the patron is trying to cheat. Explain diplomatically and good naturedly and you will prevent a complaint. and gain the patron's good will.

2. Have a schedule of the running time of the show and be polite when giving information.

3. Be sure to tear every ticket in half and deposit it in the receptacle Dl'OVided.

4. Say "thank you" when you return stubs. Do no smoke or chew gum while on duty.

5. No one should [)5le your door without a ticket or pass as provided by theatre regulntionn.

6. Handle puss-ins or pass-outs, exchanges, and refunds in the approved manner.

7. Under no circumstances are you to have unnecessary contact or conversation with the cashier.


8. Be sure to thank your patrons entering or leaving the theatre and rememberernothing makes a patron feel at home so much as a friendly welcome from the doorman. Be polite

and courteous and, above all. be sure that your friendly greetings are enthusiastic and sincere.

9. Report to the management if the theatre front.'lobhy doors. foyer doors, men's rest. rooms. etc.. are dirty.

10. Do not visit with friends or acquaintances or permit anyone to loiter near the theatre entrance.

The companyis manual for ushers and usherettes, like the other booklets of general instructions, serves as a refresher course and constant guide to old employes and as orientation material for new employes. Its recommendations are

as follows:

1. Extend a friendly welcome to your patrons entering and leaving the theatre, by extending a, courteous and "anxious to serve" attitude.

2. Be careful in your method of handling exchanges. refunds. and be sure that the proper procedure is followed implicitly so that there Can never be any question of your honesty.

3. Be enthusiastic in caring for the comfort and wants of your patrons. When seating a patron always be sure to say ",excuse it, please," and "thank you" to aisle seat patrons.

4. Never use a flashlight in such a manner that it will attract the attention of the patrons and detract from what is happening on the screen. Keep the flashlight pointed to the floor at all times.

Pay special attention to the aged, to children, and particularly to women with children in arms.

6. Noisy babies are a problem and you must he very diplomatic but yet accomplish your purpose in quieting such disturbances without odending anyone.

7. Know your hand signals and use them so that your work can be accomplished with no disturbance whatsoever.

8. Know exactly what to do in case of emergency.

9. Report immediately to the manager defective sound, defective light on the screen, poor ventilation, insufficient heat.

10. Do not visit with friends, acquaintances, or patrons, or allow them to loiter near your station.

Each of the-three instruction booklets detailed above further reminds employes that they are constantly subject to inspections by Hargroves operators with

th1s message:

We want you to know that at frequent and regular intervals we test the honesty and efficiently of every employe. This "On The Job Report" will in most cases be discussed with you. This is a Hargroves Confidential Eye Witness Report and covers your work habits that enable us to commend you for proper performance of duties. It also enables us to point out to you and correct your weakness if the secret tests reveal instances of carelessness, inefficiency or poor service.

Teaching. Testing. Correcting

Today it has become a recognized fact in every business that one of the most effective means of building business is to institute a training program. But before a theatre can achieve the ultimate in good patron service, there must be thorough training at all levels. The training system described aboveis based on the fundamental educational process of teaching, testing, and correcting. The program builds patronage by teaching the staff how to "sell the theatre," testing them for errors which lose sales and customers, and correcting the weaknesses indicated in the reports of inspectors.

All of the foregoing would have only partial value unless there is a followthrough. Teaching employes the correct technique or giving written instructions is not in itself an adequate program. for it is easy to tell the, staff how to act courteously and perform their duties efficiently, but when there is no incentch they are bound to revert to their old habits. When 'an employe is once given a copy of an inspectorls report and is

informed that he will be tested by a theatre specialist coming to the theatre as a regular patron, a goal has been provided and there is the incentive to practice what is being taught.

Employes who prove to be up to your standards should be commended for their efforts and encouraged to continue their good work. Employes whose efficiency you consider below par should be commended on that phase of their work performed correctly and shown that if they can do well in one respect they can do a 100 per cent perfect job with a little more effort. Their weaknesses should be discussed with them and they should be told tactfully how to remedy their shortcomings.

One of the progress signs to look for in the program is an employeis remark that he knows a tester was in the theatre the previous night. This is a sure sign that the program is working, as it indicates that the staff realizes that almost any patron might be a tester and that they are alerted to their responsibilities. >

Additional Services 7

Additional services odered by the Hargroves organization include reports on refunds, employe irregularities and violations, and detailed investigations of new employes. Refund reports disclose any loopholes in the theatre refund system which might cause losses. At the request of subscribers, the Hargroves educational department sends suggestions for setting up a safe system for handling refunds. All-improper handling of cash and tickets are reported on the employe irregularities report and a detailed summary of the'caSe findings is sent to the theatre management. Every violation is an indication of an employeis disregard of policy, either with dishonest intentions or carelessness. This information IS relayed to the management in the violation reports. Upon request from a subscriber, every new employe, regardless of posn tion, will be thoroughly investigated with particular emphasis on personal, family background and former employment. Special reports of such investigations are prepared on a cost basis.

Seal of Service

When a theatre has fully corrected unsatisfactory conditions and has improved its patron services, it is presented with the ttHargroves Seal of Serviced to display at the boxoffice. A facsimile of the seal appearing in the company's national advertising, it informs the. public that they will receive the utmost in comfort, courtesy and cleanliness.

The entire program, both in its tangible and psychological aspects, 1s a sound one, built on the proved principles of good theatre management. Improved emplon and custom. welatinns" are an almost automatic end result or the system. Since most employes want to do a good job, their regard for management is raised when they know management is helping them do a better job. When the employe is satisfied that he. is doing his best work, is free from the temptations ofdishonesty, and knows you are aware of his good work,' heill do his best to make the theatre's patrons happy reand usually succeeds.
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 363