Here’s the story of picturehouses, change and earplugs.
The toil of the bag-clinker is akin to the toil of the wretched awkwardness of trying to correct the positioning of a backwards T-shirt on a hot, sweaty summers day. You know bag-clinkers. Can’t quite seem to carry a bag in a normal fashion. The type of person who spends the duration of the bag holding scraping it along the floor or mercilessly banging it against the shins of a companion. Somebody whose arms are too long. Somebody whose ineptitude at holding a bag has led to the creation of my new term, ‘bag-clinker’. I know this as I am one. All I can do is apologize. We just can’t hold bags. I have no idea why. So I’ve decided to take this opportunity to apologize to the victims of our clumsiness, and, if he’s reading, to apologize to my brother and his incredibly sore shins.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m old-fashioned. Something about memories makes the old days seem grand. Sure, things are better now, at least in some respects. The old days were a bit crap. I like that. I like crap. It was the biggest allure of the ‘90s. It wasn’t great. And that’s why it was great. Its total lack of greatness was the sole reason it was great. One of my highlights of the decade from whence I came was my trips to the picturehouse.
Ah, what a grand old building. Well, plain but grand in stature. Well, not really. But I liked it. I liked the fact that it was rough around the edges. The floor was sticky. The carpet and decor was decades old, much of it original. You could hear the flicker of the projector as the glass wasn’t soundproof. Just normal glass. The screens were tiny. Not many seats. The seats there was were massive, comfy armchairs. Lots of legroom. Only two speakers. Velvet curtains covered the screens. Two men pulled ropes to open them. And nobody had a cellular phone back then. And no food was allowed. Ah, what a grand old building.
It closed at the end of the ‘90s. They built a new one a little farther down the road as the old one was razed by giant bulldozers. I’ve made a habit of not going in the new cinema. I don’t want to. It’s big and frightening. There are too many people in there. It’s too loud. People keep standing up. There’s no legroom. Phones keep going off. Where’s the flicker? Why’s the floor not sticky? The screens are too big. The cupholder’s aren’t big enough. We used to throw our drinks under the seat and forgot about them! They were left to rot! That was the smell! It was so beautiful, man! WHERE DID ALL THE DECENT PICTUREHOUSES GO! FOR THE LOVE OF JEBUS, IT IS TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OLD WAYS OF LIFE! THE GLORY DAYS WHEN WE COULD GET A DECENT SIZED CUPHOLDER!
Sigh. What’s the point in complaining? I went again this weekend. This isn’t a movie review blog, so, needless to say, you’re not getting a review. I mean, it was brilliant. The writing was fantastic. The acting was sublime. The CGI. Such a great take on the story. You can’t praise it enough. The direction – I’ve just done that kissing fingers, moving hand away, spreading fingers gesture. Honestly, I could not recommend Man of Steel more. But I simply refuse to review it since that’s not what I do and I never have. Except just then.
It was pitch black in there when we went in. After stumbling over several objects and annoying several people, including a rather annoyed woman whose lap she did not want sat in, we found our seats. My eyes adjusted as I sat and watched the people from all walks of life enter the theatre. It quickly dawned on me that I could see them but they couldn’t see me. I never knew until that moment the high level of my self-restraint. Just imagine the fun you could have with them. Blowing on their necks was my suggestion. Quite fun until their eyes adjust, you don’t know because, let’s face it, how would you, and they turn around and punch you in the nose. So I didn’t do that. And you shouldn’t either. Ah, go on then. It is really funny.
So I sat there, put my earplugs in, watched seven hours of adverts, one hour of trailers and enjoyed the movie. What? Lots of people wear earplugs. Nothing I can do about the cupholder, but my ears are another matter. Highly recommend it.
The thing about life is that it changes. It’s the only thing you can guarantee. And even then, I suppose guaranteeing it is a fallacy because once you’re dead there’s not a great deal of change. But whilst you’re alive, which I believe I am, change is gonna happen. I miss my old cinema. But I don’t miss the ‘90s. What I enjoyed was the movie. Everything else was just the aura of the era.
After the movie, we were eating at a fast-food restaurant. And outside, a lovely old church, and a young couple coming out of it after just getting married. What will keep them together is one thing only, what moves them forward in time is change. I miss my cinema. But the movie at the new one? Just the same. I need to stop being an old-fart and accept that nothing stays the same even for a split second. I had a really good day, today. That’s what I should be remembering. And that’s all I’ll remember.
Well, that and the ridiculous nature of the circumference of the god-darn cupholders.
American author, journalist and lecturer, Gail Sheehy (b. 1937), once said: “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If don’t grow, we aren’t really living”.
Peace Out :|:
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