Margaret remembers the cinema, smoking and the drawing office

The flicks

By Jane Turner

Photo:Margaret as a small child

Margaret as a small child

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Saturnday morning picture club

As a child I went to Saturday morning cinema they always seemed to show Roy Rogers films. The local church used to hold bazaars, there was a room over the church hall where we children would go and watch Laurel and Hardy films projected onto a big white screen. We also went skating at Haringey arena.

Up in the 'gods'

Every year we used to go to Wood Green Empire and sit up in the gods.  Every city had an Empire, if you had no money you could save up to go up in the gods. Cinemas didn't have set time for films, people used to go in the middle of the film, watch the end and then stay and watch the beginning. There were always 2 films an 'A' and a 'B' film, most films were about one and a half hours long. They used to have an intermission when the usherette would come down to the front and sell ice cream and drinks. When people came in half way through the film it used to be pitch black and they would fall over each other.

Woodbine wilderness

Cinemas were full of smokers and it was a wonder the girls didn't set their hair alight as the ashtrays were right behind the seats. The atmosphere was very smoky. Players Weights and Woodbines. I was about fifteen when I started smoking. I worked in a large drawing office with loads of blokes and we all smoked, you couldn't see the other end of the office for the smoke.  We used to clean the tracing sheets off with carbon tetrachloride and trichoethylene, it's a wonder we didn't blow ourselves up. They are both banned substances now."

This page was added by Jane Turner on 27/01/2008.

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