366 days of gratitude

Oamaru’s Majestic theatre was overseen by Mr Horsborough. always immaculate in a dinner suit and bow tie even for matinée showings.

Those were the days when each session began with the National Anthem (God Save the Queen, not God Defend New Zealand) and everyone stood to attention while it played.

Back then, 10 cents was enough to get you in to the pictures (yes, they were the pictures then, not the movies) with enough change for a bag of acid drops and an ice cream at half time.

Ice cream at the picture theatre was rolled and pressed into cones, dipped in chocolate and kept in the deep freeze until half-time. It tasted all the better for it.

For all that 10 cents seems very cheap for an outing, we went to the movies only a few times a year. Favourite films included The Great Race, The Incredible Journey, National Velvet,  Herbie, My Fair Lady, The Great Escape,  Hayley Mills in The Truth About Spring and The Parent Trap and Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Thoroughly Modern Milly.

Watching a DVD of the latter this afternoon I realised that she wasn’t very modern at all. But there was an innocence to the film, the baddies were bad, the goodies were good and while there was love there was no sex.

It was a refreshing contrast to a lot of modern movies and what passes as news and I’m grateful for that.

6 Responses to 366 days of gratitude

  1. Paul Scott says:

    Oh dear, those movies Ele.
    Its a wonder with that background, the farmer didn’t catch a fast tractor out of there. But watching Millie again, its not good, probably we skip the behavioural therapy, get straight on to drugs.
    Did Mr. Horsborough leave any reminder photographs, I can imagine he might even have had a pocket watch.
    My grandfather had a vest watch, I think I inherited it and lost it, my Mother said it was best not to give me anything valuable at all after that.


  2. Andrei says:

    Oh dear, those movies Ele

    What do you should have been shown at a kid’s matinee in Oamaru all those years ago Paul?

    Andrei Rublev?


  3. Will says:

    That’s a strangely compelling film. Not exactly fun, but watch it for five minuits and you’re caught. Have to follow it through. Some pretty heavy themes but also a cinematic masterpiece. And a fascinating depiction of medieval Russia.

    Since we’re doing this, have you ever seen Herzog’s ‘Fitzcarraldo’ Andrei? Its Absurdist, Sisiphyan themes are more to my taste than yours, but whatever you believe, it’s a remarkable piece of work. My all time favourite.


  4. The Great Escape has to be one of the best films of all time.


  5. Andrei says:

    I knew you liked that film Will – that’s why I chose it for my irony

    I like it too but I would have never watched it with my kids to while away a wet Sunday afternoon

    Haven’t seen ‘Fitzcarraldo’ I’ll check it out

    The blurb evoked “Barber of Siberia” which is a glorious mess starring Richard Harris among others


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