edited: Saturday, March 02, 2002
By Rose G rose.moss@LineOne.net
Posted: Saturday, March 02, 2002
Become a Fan
The local cinema holds many happy memories for me.
Our local cinema is quite unusual as it has been in continuous use for over sixty years. It was built in 1939 and constructed from corrugated iron to avoid the subsidence which plagued the town ,as at that time it was not unusual for buildings to literally vanish overnight into a hole in the ground !
Little has changed over the years, except for the addition of a second screen , an ugly added on building which looks like a large metal crate, but is surprisingly comfortable inside. I believe small cinemas of this vintage are now quite rare in the age of the multi screen complex.
When I was a child, my Mother took me to see a ballet film and pointed out a large painting on the wall of a flood that hit the town in 1946. My paternal Grandmother was in the cinema at the time and had to be rescued by boat !
I believe the painting is still there but now hidden under a selection of posters for classic films, such as “Gone with the Wind and “The Magnificent Seven.”
Having no transport of my own, I used to only go to the cinema on rare occasions, which led to an experience, I still blush to recall.
A friend, who wasn’t a regular cinema goer either ,had invited me to go and see “Howard’s End “ with her and as I’d enjoyed studying the book while at college and the film, staring Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter had received excellent reviews, I was delighted to accept the invitation.
We arrived soon after seven, bought our tickets and went through the nearest door into the cinema and sat down to wait for the film to start at half past seven.
We were chatting ,so at first we didn’t notice that time was passing. I was rather baffled by a rather explicit Government Health information advertisement about HIV, as the film was classified as suitable for children as young as 12.Another strange fact was that, the only other people in the cinema were a few young courting couples, which seemed odd that so few people would want to see a popular film.
Time passed and it was now almost eight o’clock when the lights dimmed and a message flashed on the screen.
“This film is rated 18 and suitable only for adults.”
My friend and I looked at each other, by now very puzzled indeed. Then the title credits began to roll.
“ The Lovers” was emblazoned across the screen ! My friend and I jumped to our feet, glad the darkness hid our blushes ! Not only were we in the wrong the cinema but about to see what appeared to be not our kind of film at all ! I later read that it was one of the most explicit films of the decade on general release.
We hastened out as fast as we could and slunk into the back row of the cinema next door, which was almost full of people engrossed in “Howard’s End”, which was already well under way. I was just thankful, I knew the story, or I would have spent the entire evening trying to figure out what was happening !
The few friends I confided in, teased me for years afterwards about not knowing the difference between Cinema one and Cinema two !
“Star Trek “ is one of my favourite television programmes, though few of my friends share my enthusiasm, so I was delighted when I discovered that my friend Roy, was a fellow fan.
When “Generations” was released at the cinema, he invited me to go and see it with him. I enjoyed it very much and was thrilled when I heard another new Star Trek film, ”First Contact “ had been released a few years later. It had excellent reviews and Roy invited me to go with him .I was looking forward to it with eager anticipation.
Then the day before our planned outing, the phone rang, it was Roy, who between sneezes, explained he had caught the flu and there was no way he could go to the film.
I resigned myself to waiting until it was shown on television as my other friends would view the prospect of watching a Star Trek film with sheer horror.
The next Sunday my father went to church. When he returned home, he said;
“I overheard one of the ladies I know at church lamenting she had no one to go to the new Star Trek film with, so I told her you would like to see it. She’ll pick you up on Thursday at seven. Her name’s Joan. I expect you’ll like her .”
I was very taken aback, for although I wanted to see the film, the prospect of spending the evening with a complete stranger was daunting to say the least.
I discussed what to do with my Mother, who was determined I should go, pushing aside my objections by saying that as the cinema was only a five minute journey away and I wouldn’t have to talk much to my companion, as we were going to watch a film.
I reluctantly agreed to take my Mother’s advice, though when Thursday dawned, I felt as apprehensive as if I were going on a blind date and my Mother almost had to push me out of the front door !
My fears proved completely unjustified as Joan, a retired school teacher proved very easy to get along with and we quickly discovered we shared the same tastes in cinema.
We enjoyed the Star Trek film and as we left the cinema, we saw that another good film was scheduled for the following week We made arrangements to go and see it, and have now seen almost every major release for the last five years .
We’ve had quite a few memorable evenings during that time, such as when we went to see “Tomorrow Never Dies”, the first Bond film ,I’d ever seen. The film had reached its climax and the villain had captured James Bond and was hissing something to the effect of “I will kill you, using my uniquely horrible tortures !”
An orange blob then appeared on the screen and the image looked like as if it were being dissolved. It seemed our hero were being melted ! Then the screen went blank and the lights came on.
The manager appeared and announced.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m sorry to tell you that the film has melted. We will try to resume as soon as possible.”
Everyone sat there, wondering if they’d ever know whether Bond escaped to live to fight another day . As I hadn’t seen any of the films before, I was unsure whether or not he’d live to fight another day ! I was most relieved when after ten minutes or so, the film started again and Bond leapt from a window to escape his captors.
My most recent outing to the cinema was to see Harry Potter, which being a long film contained a short interval to allow the audience to stretch their legs. The interval started just after Hermione had been chased by a troll in the girl’s bathroom, in one of the scariest scenes in the film.
I decided to go to the ladies room .The nearest one was in the oldest part of the cinema and bore an alarming resemblance to the scene of Hermione’s ordeal. It was also dimly it. Naturally, I don’t believe in trolls, but I couldn’t get out fast enough !
Such is the power of cinema to stimulate the imagination !
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|Reviewed by Dori
|Oh! Yes I do remember the "passion pits" as we used to call them LOL Oh what fun they were, used to take a carload in with 2 in the trunk: Got caught too, because we were laughing making so much noise: Tee-hee Fun
|Reviewed by Kathy
I enjoyed reading Cinema Memories...I also have some great memories..so, it was fun reading..I have never seen "The Lovers", but, I would have loved to have been there to enjoy the laugh...ha-ha..
|Reviewed by Dallas Franklin
|Great article, Rose..it's like I'm reading someone's journal and getting to know you more and more..thanks for sharing!~~~~~~Love, Dallas*S*SS
|Reviewed by Darlene Zagata
|Excellent article as always Rose.|
|Reviewed by Paul Kyriazi
|Great memorys of of a local cinema. I quess every one has them for thier local theater. I do. But this is the first article I've read on it, so great subject choice. It stired up so many memorys of my own small town theater. I wanted the article to go on,but it ended too abruptly. I hope the writer takes the tape to smooth out the ending instead of that one line wrap up so I can give it the 10 it deserves.(I'll check back). I didn't see "The Lovers",but since the writer had already graduated from college when she entered the wrong theater, she might have stayed and had a whole new world opened up to her (Ha,couldn't resist that). This article truely stirs my memorys. Thanks.|