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Theater manager recalls frantic scene 50 years ago during Beatlemania

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John B. Fisher, who managed a theater in Hull in the UK during the days of Beatlemania, never saw anything like the scene when the Beatles appeared there, according to Dean Johnson, editor of "The Beatles and Me" on Dec. 16.

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During the height of Beatlemania, the city of Hull could be seen as a microcosm of England as it fell in love with the mop tops from Liverpool, Johnson says. John R. Fisher was the manager of the ABC Cinema in Hull, East Yorkshire, during Beatlemania which the Beatles played in 1963 and 1964. Fisher passed away some years ago, but his story was relayed by his friend and neighbor Mrs. Joan Walker.

Fisher was known for bringing high profile acts to the theater, but had never experienced the scene that greeted his eyes on the night of Nov. 24, 1963, outside the ABC. According to Walker, the number of fans queuing for tickets overnight for the Beatles was in the thousands.

“They were about nine deep on the pavement, and the queue went right around the theatre, the bus station and around to the front of theatre. The police ended up putting barriers up to stop the queues spilling on to the road. The fans were very well behaved though and spent the night singing Beatle songs,” Johnson says.

On the day of the concert, the Beatles were brought in a police van. The fans were told they would be coming in by the stage door, but, were instead brought in the main entrance. Soccer players were enlisted to help with security.

“They used Hull Kingston Rovers players as bouncers but they weren't needed as there wasn't any trouble,” Walker says.

The noise from the fans during the concert was deafening and the floor in the upper circle was bouncing. A policeman reportedly said, “I think this place will collapse," says Johnson.

Fisher offered free tickets to the show to Joan Walker, but she says she didn't really like the Beatles so she declined the offer, something she now regrets. Her story will appear in “All You Need Is Hull” in the Kindle update of “The Beatles and Me” book, which features fans' untold stories of the Beatles.

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