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The Times (20/Apr/1938) - Film Studio Strike: cinemas open as usual

(c) The Times (20/Apr/1938)



From Our Labour Correspondent

Having failed to stop the cinema theatres by its strike of projectionists, the Electrical Trades Union yesterday turned to the film studios. Nearly 50 electricians ceased work at the Gainsborough Film Studios, Islington, where a new Alfred Hitchcock spy drama Lost Lady is being produced. Among those engaged in the production of this film are Mr. Paul Lukas, who came from America to take part, Mr. Michael Redgrave, and Dame May Whitty.

A few electricians in the employment of the same company, who were working in a section of the Gaumont-British studios at Shepherd's Bush, also ceased work, and last night it was stated that all the electricians at the Gaumont-British studios had decided to join the strike. There was no interruption of work at the Pinewood Studios at Iver, Bucks, nor at the Associated British Picture Studios at Elstree.

In London and the Home Counties the cinemas were open yesterday as usual. Mr. Arthur Taylor, secretary of the London and Home Counties branch of the Cinema Exhibitors' Association, said that the business done on Bank Holiday was as good as on any Easter Mondav. The ex-pectation was that the cinema theatres would continue to open as usual. There had been one or two instances of rowdyism, but generally everything was quiet.

Estimatingthe number of men on strike, Mr. Taylor added that not more than 60 per cent, of the members of the E.T.U. in the cinemas had left work.

Both in Manchester and Hull the cinemas were, with one exception, able to keep their programmes going. The exception in Manchester was a cinema owned by the Independent Labour Party, which had to close on Monday. The I.L.P. conference was meeting in Manchester at the time.