Bio Scopes Print E-mail
Written by Philip Howard Edwards   
Friday, 20 March 2009 11:06

Recently I received a DVD of an old classic war movie from my son and it got me thinking back to the cinemas or Flicks or Bio Scopes which before the days of television, videos and now DVD's formed a great part of our social calendar.

I can recall very clearly the first film I ever went to with my older brother ( by 8 years) David. It was "Jail House Rock" playing at the Carlton Cinema. He was not happy having me tag along and gave me my half crown and told me to stand in line and get my own ticket.

He vanished into the cinema,leaving me to fend for myself. I waited in line, with money clasped between my teeth,why I don't know, and when I got to the ticket office,opened my mouth and swallowed the money! Needless to say they did not believe me and I sat outside,waiting for the show to finish.

My mum was not very amused with my brother when I told her what had happened and he had to bring me back the following week !

The Carlton had a "Royal" box at the back which rumour has it the Governor used when attending a show. It also had louvred windows high up with cords attached which lads would tie a coke bottle to and swing it in an arc, much to my mothers annoyance who would box the ears of the fellow in front whilst I crawled under the seat.

Next door to the cinema was The Carlton Cafe on one side run by the Hejipetrou' family ( spelling ?) and on the other The Carlton Bar, complete with swing doors. As young boys we gravitated to the cafe. When older we went in the opposite direction!.

In addition to the Carlton there was also the Palace which was in what was unfortunately referred to as the 2nd Class trading area, where for some reason long forgotten I saw Battle of The River Platte !

Then of course the new cinema was built ! The 20th Century ! I recall so many "gala nights: with our parents in formal wear and us boys in shirt and tie and the foyer decked out Films like My Fair Lady, Carousel, Oklahoma, the Battle of Britain, Guns of Navarone and the one that started this whole train of thought " Cockle Shell Heroes ".

I could go on for ever as so much seemed to revolve around the cinemas but perhaps I shall leave that for another time