A visit to the Cinema in the 50’s


A regular  contributor to some of the Articles here on this Blog is David Raynor – someone who is very well informed on films of the era – and whose comments on here are always appreciated and are very welcome.


Last evening he made this comment which got me thinking:


‘There was an absolute magic about going to the cinema in those days that has completely gone now. It was a very exciting time.’


This resonated with me, of course  he is absolutely right and my own comment was


‘Like you on a visit to the Cinema in those days, I can remember the sheer excitement of going – and I was often shivering with anticipation.


I remember when I was very young and My Mother and Father took us to see King Solomon’s Mines. What a wonderful experience – the colour was outstanding and the thrill of seeing those African locations on that enormous screen, was unbelievable. I can nearly re-live it now – and when I watch that film again, I always think of that time.   This is my memory of going to the cinema at that time.

King Solomons Mines 1950


I also remember my parents took us to see ‘Treasure Island’ with Robert Newton. Here again the Technicolor was fabulous – never bettered.    We arrived later into the film just as Jim had hidden in the apple barrel and was nearly discovered when the look-out shouted ‘Land Ho’ but of course we did stay to see the film round again.

Treasure Island 1950


Another scene I well remember which frightened me was when Blind Pew played by John Laurie staggered out of the Admiral Benbow right under the wheels of the oncoming coach and the soldiers. That scene was cut from the later 70s release – and even though the latest DVDs state full original fun cut film – that is not the case as this scene is still missing. 


There was another one later when Long John Silver throws his crutch almost like a spear and kills one of the pirates as it hits him in the back when they are digging up what they thought was the treasure.


Again this scene was cut in the 70’s and is still not back.  I think there is at least one more such scene


Any way as an example of a trip to the cinema of the time , I have come across this about the Odeon Cinema in Boston  Lincolnshire which celebrated its 21 st Birthday in 1958 –


Odeon Boston Lincolnshire 1


In 1958 The Odeon Cinema celebrated its coming of age. It was estimated that in its twenty one years of being 11 million people had visited and 132 million feet of film had been seen!! Odeon Boston Lincolnshire 2 My Wife is from Boston, and I remember taking her to the Cinema here when we first started going out together – mind you that was a few years after this 21st celebration. The opening night  saw the Mayor of the day and the band of the 1st. Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment and patrons saw Vivien Leigh in “Dark Journey” together with a Technicolor film called “On ice”. The manager, when those first 1,592 patrons filled the cinema, was Mr. D. Wood.




Odeon Boston Lincolnshire 3  


In the early days of the 1939-1945 war came Sunday opening and the cinema had a Children’s Club started  and had a membership in 1958 of 900. The manager celebrated the 21st. in 1958  by splitting a birthday cake among his staff and a number of the town’s old age pensioners who attended the afternoon performance as his guests.

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