Well ….Do they ?
I only ask because, whilst flicking through the Radio Times last night, I noticed that one of the channels is showing, what they call ‘Classic Films‘ every day.
Actually, the name may be a little misleading …..their idea of a ‘Classic Film’ may not, necessarily, be mine. But the films in question are, most definitely, OLD …..so perhaps that is what they mean by ‘Classic‘ …..who knows ?
However, I digress …….
You see, the worrying thing is ……………… I saw most of these old films at the cinema, when they were first released !
Or, maybe “….SAW ….” is a slight exaggeration !
I certainly went to the cinema and sat in those plush, red seats. They were usually red, weren’t they ……or, occasionally, dark blue.
And there was always that distinctive aroma of warm, new carpets and stale Chanel No5.
Oh yes …. I can’t forget the huge foyer with the long confectionary and cigarette counter and giant posters of forth-coming attractions……the little ticket office with its polished mahogany base and sparkling glass window, behind which sat a superior-looking woman with high-piled hair and long red nails. She handed out the strip of buff-coloured tickets and fixed you with a haughty stare, as though you were so far beneath her that she could hardly believe it. Then she went back to inspecting her nail polish and flirting with the doorman.
I remember the smart suited usher ….whose suit, on closer inspection, was actually not that smart but rather worn and shiny ….. who stood beside the swing doors and examined your ticket so carefully, just in case it wasn’t genuine, even though he had seen you purchase it a mere three seconds ago.
The tired-looking usherette who traipsed up and down the shallow stairs, selling choc-ices and small cartons of orange juice ……….and occasionally shone her torch on the ‘back row’ ………………. Oh gosh, I well remember that !!!
You see, when I was 15 or 16 “Going to the pictures .….” was a ritual; a rite of passage; and something you definitely did on a ‘date’.
In the early 1960s there weren’t many places you could go to be alone with a ‘boyfriend’. Clubs and discos were in their infancy and anyway, young teenagers couldn’t afford to go to them. You couldn’t hang around in the streets or shop doorways ……the local ‘bobby’ would move you on or threaten to tell your parents; plus ………it was too darned cold in the winter.
Dance-halls were fine but noisy and only had a few dimly-lit areas …..but girls who frequented those dusty corners with guys, swiftly gained a reputation ! We may have begun to fight for feminism and burn our bras, but we were a long way from sexual equality. The only thing worse than actually being bra-less was being caught with a male hand in your B-cup ! Young ladies were still not supposed to be curious about sex or have any desires !
By the time I was 18 -19, things had changed quite a bit. I modelled and danced in a cage in a disco and enjoyed the kind of freedom our parents only dreamed of. But, at 16, you “Went to the pictures” …. The warm, dark comfort of the back rows at the cinema were where we did our ‘courting’. It was a safe place to do our kissing and tentative fumblings …….
But, as I said at the beginning, we hardly ever watched the film ………….
So, as its been years since I went to the cinema, I wonder ……. Now that they have multi-screens and ‘ interactive experiences‘…..is it still the same ? Or perhaps kids don’t need to hide away to have a snog.
I mean …it seems to me that even 8 yr olds have boyfriends and girlfriends nowadays. And teenagers and adults are practically having sex in broad daylight in every public place imaginable …..( I am NOT disapproving – as long as they don’t frighten the horses …LOL ) Even very young kids have their Facebook status stating that they are “In a relationship” …..I mean …REALLY ?
Ah well- things change- times move on and we become more ‘enlightened‘ …… Its no longer the fairly innocent 1960s …..and to think we imagined ourselves to be so “With it”……
So, maybe future generations won’t know why the heck The Drifters were singing about “Kissin’ in the Back Row of the Movies” …….. and that, I think, will be a shame.