Yesterday GG  had a day off and decided to go to the cinema. Jennie was busy so he said that he would go on his own. He didn’t mind and she said that he quite enjoyed going to the afternoon showing, so I jokingly suggested that perhaps he liked to boo and hiss without any inhibitions!

This reminded me of my childhood when we were members of the ABC club at the Grand on Hyson Green in Nottingham. This cinema had been a variety theatre originally and still retained the stage etc. We trooped in about 10am. It was always full and most children were members. There were several advantages to being a member, you got a birthday card which entitled you to a free visit, you were invited onto the stage just before the second half and after the raucous  rendition of Happy Birthday, were given a small bag of sweets and a choc ice.

The first half was a live show, sometimes a professional entertainer, other times a talent show, but the second half was what we were really there for….the films!

It started with a children’s version of the news, then cartoons, followed by the main film (frequently a western with our favourites, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy et al) sometimes it would be Laurel and Hardy,  Abbot and Costello or Lassie. Whatever it was there was great audience participation, we hissed and booed the villains (easy to spot because they wore black hats 🙂 ) and cheered the heroes (in light coloured hats!), yelled, “look behind you,” to warn the heroes.

The final part of the progamme was the serial, about 15 minutes long and always ended on a cliffhanger,(quite literally sometimes!)

Remember very few people had TV then, no computers or video games, so our 4d entry fee (less than2p) we considered very good value for money.

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