Pioneer of the YearQueensland


Leigh writes…

“My wonderful life in the Qld Film Industry.

After leaving school, I applied as a film repairer at CIC in Ann street in 1979. Not knowing anything about films I went upstairs and was greeted by Joy Strange. She said the boss won’t be long as he was on the phone.

An hour later Manny Coe introduced himself and I had my interview. I received the call that I was successful and could I start on Monday. When I arrived, Eric Seed the Despatch Manager showed me around and introduced me to Vic Forsyth and Rob Gibson, then took me upstairs to meet the Head Booker Terry Sullivan, BCC Booker Gordon Harding, Country Booker Bob Black and Bev in the accounts.

I thought ‘no one gets replaced here as they are all over 50’ (ancient!)

Eric taught me Projection on the old Junior Standard Projectors we had in the Theatrette, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Despatch for me was short lived. Before the end of the year I was asked to move upstairs to replace Bev who looked after accounts and Payroll. Memories of coming back to the office every Thursday with pockets full of cash was scary, as I did not want to carry a money bag!

After 3 years Gordon retired and I became the new Country booker, booking in Westerns as supports and scheduling a print on a long circuit between cinemas. You would not see the film back in the vault for months. Before long I was made Head Booker and saw new technology replacing trunk calls, telex and fax machines.

With the breakup of UIP I became the Qld Branch Manager of Paramount until they closed the Branch in late 2013. I thought it was a great time for a change, however I was approached by exhibitors to program films for them, so I started my own company in 2014 and now have twelve cinemas to look after nationally.

Now 44 years have passed and I don’t know where the years have gone, however I still feel privileged to be a part of the film industry.”