This is the 12th challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and history, suggested by Amy Coffin, that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. Week 12 – Movies
My first memory of going to the cinema is with my dad. I can clearly recall the first two movies I saw:-
- The Magnificent Seven released in 1960 and starring as the seven Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Horst Buchholz and……the other one – you know the one you can never remember (answer at the end of this post).
- The Guns of Navarone released in 1961 and starring David Niven, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn.
We saw both pictures not long after they were released so I was only perhaps eight or nine. I don’t imagine that I asked my dad to take me – more like he wanted to go himself and took me along. Another film I remember seeing around the same time was The Incredible Journey (Walt Disney movie)
The local picture house was the Crown which opened in 1919 and closed down in the late 1960’s. It was converted into a bingo hall for a while but I think it is now vacant.
Another local cinema I used was the Lyric, which opened its doors in 1922 and sadly is also now vacant. Here I saw my first James Bond film with Sean Connery of course and others like Bullitt (Steve McQueen), Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (Robert Redford and Paul Newman), Easy Rider (Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper), A Hard Day’s Night (The Beatles), Midnight Cowboy (Dustin Hoffman and John Voight) and Rosemary’s Baby (Mia Farrow). I’m sure there are many others that I can’t recall anymore.
One of the weekly rituals when I was growing up was Saturday morning at the pictures. The venue for this adventure was the Majestic in Leeds city centre. Here we would see a mixture of cartoons and other low budget movies like Roy Rogers and Zorro. Great fun – ice cream, sweets and feeling really grown up having been let out on your own.
Of course in many places the small picture house has been replaced by the large multiplex. It’s just a shame that the old buildings can’t be put to better use. I know that around the country some have been converted to music venues and some are bingo halls – that must be better than allowing them to stand empty and derelict. The architecture of some of the old buildings is truly amazing. And the memories…oh the memories. Going to the flicks, the flea pit – sitting in the back row, you know with that girl you’ve been desperate to date for ages. The intermission and buying an ice cream, sweets or a Kia-Ora drink. And who can forget Pearl and Dean.
BTW – it was Brad Dexter. Now be honest you didn’t remember did you!