Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Working in Southampton

The historic city of Southampton is one of the places where I briefly worked during my long career managing cinmas and theatres.

In fact I worked there twice, both times while I was the manager of the Odeon Cinema at Cosham in the mid 1970s.

One of the occasions was when there was a live show at Southampton featuring the Bay City Rollers, at the time a very successful group. My area manager asked if I would send my assistant to help out. I declined, and said that I would rather go myself.

The response was severely raised eyebrows. "You don`t want to go and see them, do you?" I was asked. Well, the truth was that I wasn`t very impressed by them, but the very fact that they were so popular made them interesting, and I wanted to witness a performance. I had after all specialised in this sort of thing a decade earlier.

So I went over to Southampton, and worked on the performance. It was much more stressful than I had imagined, as the group only played for a short while before deciding to call it a day. This left a cinema full of ten to thirteen year-olds who could not understand why they had been let down by their heroes, and a lot of pacifying was called for.

The other time was to work on a Closed Circuit TV live presentation of a boxing match. The great Mohammed Ali beat Joe Bugner, who successfully avoided being hurt, in a fight that had been optimistically billed in advance (and inexplicably remembered as) The Thriller in Manila.