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Thread: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

    Quote Originally Posted by tex View Post
    Gotcha!
    Nice one.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

    Incontrast to cinemagoing today, I thought I would add an anecdote ortwo about what going to the pictures was like when I was a youngsterin the 1950s. I began going to the pictures on my own in 1957, when Iwas ten years old. I would catch a bus into town in the early eveningand often leave the cinema at about 10:15 pm, in time to catch thelast bus home. Going to the pictures in those days was a verydifferent experience to what such things are like today. For myninepence admission (about four pence in today's money), I could getto see a feature; a supporting feature; a cartoon; a newsreel; ashort and the adverts and trailers. Performances were continuous from1 p.m. until 10:15 p.m. and you could go into the cinema at any timeand, if, when you got inside, the feature was halfway through, yousimply sat through the rest of the programme until the feature cameon again and then you watched it until you got to the part where youhad come in. I had moved from Stockport to Stoke-on-Trent by thattime and, with around 25 cinemas in the Stoke-on-Trent area in the1950s (all gone now), there were plenty of films to choose from,especially with most cinemas changing their programme three times aweek, on a Sunday, Monday and Thursday.


    Ofcourse, I was too young to be allowed in to see an 'X' certificatefilm (you had to be 16 for one of those), but when an 'A' certificatefilm was showing (children not allowed in unless accompanied by anadult), I, like many other young boys at the time, used to waitoutside the cinema and ask a man who was on his way in “Will youtake me in, mister?”. None ever refused and, if the man took aliking to me, he would pay for my ticket, thus saving me having tospend my pocket money. After we got inside, sometimes the man wouldgo and sit somewhere else and leave me to it, or sit alongside me andshare a bag of sweets with me. These days, modern parents would betotally horrified by such a then commonplace practice. However,incidents of a boy being groped by a man who had taken him in to seean 'A' certificate film were rarer than you might think, although itdid happen to me a couple of times, and to other boys too. I told noone about such things at the time, because I didn't want my fathergoing into a rage with me and banning me from going to the pictures.So I kept quiet about it. Actually, the rules set down for 'A'certificate films by the then British Board of Film Censors were thata parent or guardian (such as an aunt or uncle) or someone who knewthe child well and knew what they should and should not be allowed tosee, should take the child in. But in reality, for the sake ofselling more tickets, the cinema staff would let any man take you in.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

    Sorry about bunched up words when pasting this in from Microsoft Word. I can't edit it.

    Incontrast to cinemagoing today, I thought I would add an anecdote ortwo about what going to the pictures was like when I was a youngsterin the 1950s. I began going to the pictures on my own in 1957, when Iwas ten years old. I would catch a bus into town in the early eveningand often leave the cinema at about 10:15 pm, in time to catch thelast bus home. Going to the pictures in those days was a verydifferent experience to what such things are like today. For myninepence admission (about four pence in today's money), I could getto see a feature; a supporting feature; a cartoon; a newsreel; ashort and the adverts and trailers. Performances were continuous from1 p.m. until 10:15 p.m. and you could go into the cinema at any timeand, if, when you got inside, the feature was halfway through, yousimply sat through the rest of the programme until the feature cameon again and then you watched it until you got to the part where youhad come in. I had moved from Stockport to Stoke-on-Trent by thattime and, with around 25 cinemas in the Stoke-on-Trent area in the1950s (all gone now), there were plenty of films to choose from,especially with most cinemas changing their programme three times aweek, on a Sunday, Monday and Thursday.


    Ofcourse, I was too young to be allowed in to see an 'X' certificatefilm (you had to be 16 for one of those), but when an 'A' certificatefilm was showing (children not allowed in unless accompanied by anadult), I, like many other young boys at the time, used to waitoutside the cinema and ask a man who was on his way in “Will youtake me in, mister?”. None ever refused and, if the man took aliking to me, he would pay for my ticket, thus saving me having tospend my pocket money. After we got inside, sometimes the man wouldgo and sit somewhere else and leave me to it, or sit alongside me andshare a bag of sweets with me. These days, modern parents would betotally horrified by such a then commonplace practice. However,incidents of a boy being groped by a man who had taken him in to seean 'A' certificate film were rarer than you might think, although itdid happen to me a couple of times, and to other boys too. I told noone about such things at the time, because I didn't want my fathergoing into a rage with me and banning me from going to the pictures.So I kept quiet about it. Actually, the rules set down for 'A'certificate films by the then British Board of Film Censors were thata parent or guardian (such as an aunt or uncle) or someone who knewthe child well and knew what they should and should not be allowed tosee, should take the child in. But in reality, for the sake ofselling more tickets, the cinema staff would let any man take you in.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

    I first started to go to the cinema on my own in 1971, the first film being Diamonds are Forever, and I would have been 9 or 10. Prior to that I had gone with older cousins or my parents. Diamonds are Forever was an A certificate, but there was no restriction on kids going in alone, so maybe the criteria had changed since the 50s? Anyway, I can't recall how much it cost to go circa 1971, but in 1976 it cost me 70p to see The Outlaw Josey Wales--a AA certificate, meaning you had to be 14 to get in. Back in the 70s, a second feature was still the norm, or for big films like a Bond, a short, and I can remember shorts being routinely screened well into the 80s. Yes, I recall being able to walk into the cinema at any time and sit through the whole programme twice if you wanted to. I definitely sat through Diamonds are forever and Battle for the Planet of the Apes both twice. There would not be a newsreel then, but you got a short or second feature, main feature, trailers, adverts and those Pearl and Dean adverts for local businesses, plus there would be an intermission before the main feature.

    My wife and son went to see that new Avengers film yesterday and it cost them £10 each at, I think, a Cineworld cinema.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

    I'm typing this into this text box so that I won't have to paste it in from Word. Its ironic that that in the 1950s, when the films were much better than they are today, going to the pictures was a really cheap night out and these days, you have to pay out at least a tenner, not to watch a film, because celluloid films are no longer used, but in effect to watch a digital presentation on what is effectively a large television screen hung on the wall of a featureless auditorium. You might as well save your money and stay at home and watch a DVD. I was a cinema projectionist for nearly twenty years, from 1962 to 1981 and saw many changes in that time. The British cinema industry began to go to pot in the 1970s and had to re-invent itself with multi small screen multiplexes and films aimed at either a juvenile or soft porn audience. I remember asking my boss around 1980 when we were showing absolute rubbish like 'Sexy Susan and the Sex Slaves' why we couldn't show proper films any more, like 'King of Kings' and he replied that we were in this business to make money and that this was what the punters wanted nowadays. Mind you, he was very strict about age restrictions. I remember when, back in 1968, we were showing the 'X' film WITCHFINDER GENERAL and ten minutes before the show started, I was stood with the boss by the pay box when this young lad came in. He looked about 12 years old. "You're not comin' in t'see this!", the boss told him. "Well, I'm 16", said the boy. "16? You haven't seen 13, let alone 16", the boss told him. "Now get!" and the boy getted. The BBFC changed the certificates in July, 1970 when the 'X' admission age was raised to 18 and, as you remembered, the 'AA' certificate was brought in.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

    Quote Originally Posted by staffslad View Post
    I first started to go to the cinema on my own in 1971, the first film being Diamonds are Forever, and I would have been 9 or 10. Prior to that I had gone with older cousins or my parents. Diamonds are Forever was an A certificate, but there was no restriction on kids going in alone, so maybe the criteria had changed since the 50s? Anyway, I can't recall how much it cost to go circa 1971, but in 1976 it cost me 70p to see The Outlaw Josey Wales--a AA certificate, meaning you had to be 14 to get in. Back in the 70s, a second feature was still the norm, or for big films like a Bond, a short, and I can remember shorts being routinely screened well into the 80s. Yes, I recall being able to walk into the cinema at any time and sit through the whole programme twice if you wanted to. I definitely sat through Diamonds are forever and Battle for the Planet of the Apes both twice. There would not be a newsreel then, but you got a short or second feature, main feature, trailers, adverts and those Pearl and Dean adverts for local businesses, plus there would be an intermission before the main feature.

    My wife and son went to see that new Avengers film yesterday and it cost them £10 each at, I think, a Cineworld cinema.
    I also remember diamonds are forever being one of my earliest cinema experiences, it was shown as a double "Bond "billing with Thunderball, guess that would of been 71/72 when double bills were quite commonplace.
    ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRayner View Post
    I'm typing this into this text box so that I won't have to paste it in from Word. Its ironic that that in the 1950s, when the films were much better than they are today, going to the pictures was a really cheap night out and these days, you have to pay out at least a tenner, not to watch a film, because celluloid films are no longer used, but in effect to watch a digital presentation on what is effectively a large television screen hung on the wall of a featureless auditorium. You might as well save your money and stay at home and watch a DVD. I was a cinema projectionist for nearly twenty years, from 1962 to 1981 and saw many changes in that time. The British cinema industry began to go to pot in the 1970s and had to re-invent itself with multi small screen multiplexes and films aimed at either a juvenile or soft porn audience. I remember asking my boss around 1980 when we were showing absolute rubbish like 'Sexy Susan and the Sex Slaves' why we couldn't show proper films any more, like 'King of Kings' and he replied that we were in this business to make money and that this was what the punters wanted nowadays. Mind you, he was very strict about age restrictions. I remember when, back in 1968, we were showing the 'X' film WITCHFINDER GENERAL and ten minutes before the show started, I was stood with the boss by the pay box when this young lad came in. He looked about 12 years old. "You're not comin' in t'see this!", the boss told him. "Well, I'm 16", said the boy. "16? You haven't seen 13, let alone 16", the boss told him. "Now get!" and the boy getted. The BBFC changed the certificates in July, 1970 when the 'X' admission age was raised to 18 and, as you remembered, the 'AA' certificate was brought in.
    Hey David!...Don't s'pose your boss had a lot of say in which films were shown. Was the cinema part of a corporate chain or an independent?
    ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

    I always assumed (because it was more or less before my time) that the tickets to see a Saturday morning CFF film would cost a lot less than some of the mainstream evening stuff shown at the cinemas - do the cinemas still have Saturday morning picture shows, I wonder?

    When Channel 4 had shown the film South Pacific in the mid 1990s, my late mother had said to me that she had first seen it "in colour" at the cinema when it first came out back in the early 1960s, and obviously she had said that it was the only place where you would see films (or anything else for that matter) in colour.

    Obviously, cinema audiences as a result would have been quite high back then, and one assumes that when colour television came along at the end of the 1960s and films were premiered on TV for the first time (especially at Christmas when the cinemas were closed), cinema audiences dwindled over the following years - only the fact that one could see films a few years before they are premiered on the television and the fact that one could see them on a much larger screen were two reasons why even today, most people still go to the cinema. For those who could be patient for a few years and wait for its TV premiere, some didn't bother.

    Mind you, I suppose Walt Disney cottoned onto this TV premiere thing, and as a result, a lot Disney films were not premiered on the small screen for decades after they were made - some like Snow White have yet to be seen as an actual TV broadcast. Fantasia took over seven decades for it to be premiered on British TV screens.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

    I ran children's Saturday matinees at the cinema where I worked, showing mainly CFF features and serials. The prices of admission in the 1960s were sixpence and sevenpence. It was the part of the job I hated. About 300 children used to attend every Saturday and the auditorium was bedlam. It was my job, along with other members of the staff, to try to keep them all in order and stop any bullying. I remember one time in 1963 when this five years old boy came crying to me because a certain boy had been hitting him. I picked him up, gave him a cuddle and dried his eyes for him. Can you imagine being allowed to do that these days? I'd have to have a CRB check before I could work with all those youngsters. But the paranoia that exists today about adults supervising children didn't exist back then. Anyway, I sorted the bully out and after that, the little lad stuck to me like glue and held my hand as I walked around dispensing instant verbal justice. When it came around to starting time, the boss would tell me that I could go up and start now. "Thank God for that!" I would tell him, as I retreated to the safety of the projection room. We ended the children's matinees in 1974. Due to Saturday television, there was no call for them any more. As far as I know, no cinemas have special weekly matinees for children these days. The cinema industry has changed radically since I was working in it.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Odeon cinemas.....never again!

    Quote Originally Posted by tex View Post
    Hey David!...Don't s'pose your boss had a lot of say in which films were shown. Was the cinema part of a corporate chain or an independent?
    It was part of a small independant chain that once had five local cinemas, but by 1968 there were only two of them left. As far as I know, he did have a say, but not a final say, in what was booked at that time.

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