I've just been to to 'the pictures'. In 1995 when I last went I liked it, so I've just been again. But let me tell you about it properly.
'After the war, when I were little going to the pictures were rait popular. In 1946 there were 4709 cinemas in Britain, they reckon more people went t 'cinema than went t' church. Mind you, television were not much, Muffin the Mule weren't exactly exciting. The licence were only £2 so what did you expect. (Derby County, my home football team won 'Cup Final at Wembley in 1946. Tickets ranged from 3/6d to £2.10s). What a time to go t' pictures, 1/9d int' stalls, 1/6d in t' middle and 1/3 at' front. And for your money you had a newsreel, (Movietone) a cartoon, a travelogue, a second feature and a main film. Life definitely were definitely rait exciting, or so it seemed.'
In the fifties as I progressed from being a mere child I went to 'the pictures' at The Sitwell in Spondon, a nearby village. We walked across the fields in the pitch black, often a muddy but always an exciting experience. I didn't go a lot, there was little money to spare for such frivolity, thus such occasions are stamped on my brain.
Scaramouche (1952) no memory of the story but lots of sword fighting. Mandy (also a 1952 film, starring Jack Hawkins and Mandy Miller) memorable, a story of a deaf child's triumph over adversity. We often referred to such children as 'deaf and dumb', how none PC is that.
Mighty Joe Young starring Terry Moore and Ben Johnson. A 1949 film, surely I didn't see this at the age of ten. (Often the films at the Sitwell were way past their release date.) The Dam Busters. 1955, starring Richard Todd and Michael Redgrave. Very British. The 'bouncing bomb' was tested on Derwent Reservoir in my home county and I lived for a spell near Richard Todd's home at Little Ponton in Lincolnshire. Its a small world. Bit trivial, I know but it amuses me and it is my blog!
I remember queuing round the block to see Giant (1956) starring James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor. Queueing to go to 'the pictures'! Then I don't remember picture going again until 1967. I took my wife (girlfriend at the time) to see Grand Prix (1966) starring James Garner and Yves Montand. The picture house was in Staveley, North Derbyshire, very romantic stuff. I never went again until I attended a free viewing of The American President, starring Michael Douglas and Martin Sheen in 1995.
I've never been since until this week so I can hardly be classed as a regular. Welshman Gwilym Hughes who's just died is in the Guinness Book of Records as having viewed over 28,000 films in his lifetime (including TV). He said before he died (Well it wouldn't be afterwards, would it!) 'I'm not obsesses with movies'. Evidently a real cinema addict is called a cinephile.
I've just taken my wife to see a preview of Made in Dagenham, released in the UK on October 1st. Free tickets courtesy of The Times. And no, I'm not a cheapskate, free tickets or no free tickets. Go on then, just a little bit! We sat on the back row, for old times sake; and behaved ourselves perfectly! Smashing film, again very British with an excellent feelgood factor. Very good, even more so for being free! And if the film was at times somewhat PC ( Predictable, Contrived) who cares, it made for a lovely evening. Definitely PC in the best possible sense. (Perfect Cinema.) We must do it more often.
Are you, or were you a cinephile, any favourites and what are your earliest movie memories?