Kenneth Andrews 1926 - 2014
Theatre executive. Born 10 June 1926. He began his professional career in cinema management at the Odeon and Gaumont cinemas in Weston-Super-Mare, Cardiff, Swindon and Bristol. He assisted in the development and operation of first cinema advance booking exercise in England and reintroduction of live shows into the Empire Cardiff.
By 1961 he managed the fourth Tenpin Bowling Centre opened in England at Kingswood, Bristol and subsequently managed the largest Tenpin Bowl in Europe, the forty-lane Top Rank Bowl in Streatham, London. During his three-year tour he devised and operated a training school for Bowling Centre managers.
Kenneth progressed through area management from 1964-1967 as Assistant Bowling Controller to Circuit Controller of Dancing and Bowling Division of Top Rank, administratively in charge of twenty-four bowling centres, twenty-seven ballrooms and two ice rinks.

A change of venue and company in 1967 took him to the Fortes empire where he became chief executive of Belle Vue (Manchester) Ltd which comprised a large entertainment complex of 80 acres including zoo, fun fair, eight banqueting suites, ballroom with 5,000 capacity, exhibition hall of 100,000 square feet, speedway/stock car stadium with a capacity of 20,000 and Kings Hall with a capacity of 5,800 which housed boxing, wrestling, circus and political rallies. Belle Vue had permanent staff in excess of 300, which rose by part-time employment to 1,200 in the peak season.


Kenneth was also director on joint operation of Belle Vue/Granada 32-lane Tenpin Bowl adjoining the site. During this period he renovated and operated New Brighton Pier, Merseyside. He built and operated the 1,250-seat theatre restaurant 'Golden Garter' in Wythenshawe, which presented top star billing.
In 1972 he spent two years as project executive at Fortes head office in Jermyn Street, London and project managed the building of 'Night Out' theatre restaurant in Birmingham.
Granada Theatres beckoned and in 1974 Kenneth moved across as commercial manager. The company operated thirty-six bingo clubs, twelve cinemas, two bowling centres and a night club. He was responsible for all legal licensing applications and renewals, for maintenance and development work connected with expansion (during this time fifteen new bingo clubs were opened) and for all purchasing. He was asked to stay on after official retirement in 1986 and produced a marketing report recommending expansion in tenpin bowling, which was subsequently accepted by the board.
For two years from 1989 Kenneth operated a leisure consultancy company giving advice on all aspects of leisure development and operation.
Kenneth Andrews was initiated into Chelsea Lodge on 18 March 1988 and ten years later became Worshipful Master. He was Chaplain from 2001-2002.

 

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