Star Walk

Deceased, Showman, Star Walk
Biography
Ivan Ackery was born and raised in Bristol, England. Ackery moved to Canada in 1914. After serving in Europe with the Canadian Army during World War I, he returned to Vancouver to further his education. He moved in 1920 to Calgary, Alberta, to begin his long career in the entertainment industry. After returning to Vancouver in 1923, Ackery became an usher at the Capitol Theatre before his promotion to manager of the Victoria Theatre in south Vancouver in 1927. It was during his tenure there that young Ackery began developing the brilliant promotional ideas that he would use in cinema management for the next four decades. Ackery was promoted to manage the Dominion Theatre in downtown Vancouver in 1930, then sent to Victoria to manage the Capitol Theatre in 1932. While at the Victoria Capitol, Ackery introduced and promoted monthly midnight movies on Sundays, during a time when local bylaws prohibited Sunday movies, and he persuaded Famous Players to play a Victoria-filmed feature Crimson Paradise, which drew packed houses during its run thanks to clever promotion by Ackery. Saturday children's matinees became very popular at the Capitol during Ackery's tenure. In 1934, Ackery returned to Vancouver when Famous Players promoted him to manage the Strand Theatre. He was subsequently promoted to become the manager of the Orpheum in the summer of 1935. Ackery successfully set out to present major-release feature films and live shows featuring popular acts of the day at the Orpheum and did so until until 1969! Ackery retired as manager of the Orpheum and carried on in public life, most notably spearheading the campaign to save the Orpheum in 1973. Thanks to Ackery's efforts, which included contributions by Vancouver City Council and benefit concerts (including an engagement by Jack Benny), the City bought the Orpheum on March 19, 1974. Ackery wrote his autobiography, Fifty Years on Theatre Row, which was published in 1980. He passed away on October 29, 1989, in West Vancouver, British Columbia....
Posted: Jun-29-2011