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Sad Tracey leaves Picturedrome after 26 years

CINEMA deputy manager Tracey Girdler has said goodbye after helping thousands of movie-goers in Bognor Regis. Tracey oversaw her final screening at the Picturedrome yesterday.


She has spent 26 years at the town centre venue and became a familiar faces to film-lovers of all ages. She said: “I have enjoyed it. It has been good working here.


“A lot of it is due to the fact I’ve seen a lot of people who watch films here grow up. They were brought here by their parents, they’ve gone away to university in some cases, come back again and are bringing their own children here.


“This cinema is at the heart of the community and has a lot of support from local people.


“I was hoping to make it to the cinema’s 100th anniversary in three years but it was not to be.” She is moving back to Nottingham for family reasons.


Tracey, 49, arrived at the Picturedrome after she had moved to Bognor Regis with her partner.


She had worked in retail and cleaning and went along to the cinema to see if any jobs were available. The then manager appointed her as an usher and Tracey worked through the roles until she became one of the two deputy managers among ten staff.


Her time at the three-screen venue has seen a bewildering variety of operators of the traditional picturehouse. MGM ran it in two spells, ABC also doubled up and then Cannon, Virgin and Reeltime took it on before the current company, Picturedrome Electric Theatre Company, took over about ten years ago.


This has provided stability – and large-scale investment – and seen a revival in its popularity. Few of those who went along in recent weeks would have been aware of Tracey’s departure.


“I didn’t want a lot of fuss,” she said. “Some people have found out and have been talking to me about it and that has made me emotional.”

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