Droitwich Spa remembered

30 years ago I was living in a small spa town in England. The cinema was located in one of the forgotten spa buildings, grandly named the Winter Gardens. Built in the 1930’s, in its heyday it was reputed to have the best sprung dance floor in the Midlands. Rows of seats were screwed to the floor to create the picture palace. The building became a victim of redevelopment at a time of video cassettes and a general loss of interest in cinemas. 

I remember with dewey-eyed nostalgia, the musty smelling space with dampness pervading the air. The chill of the place lingered in my bones long after leaving. Those were the days; buying Kia Ora, toffee apples and cornettos from the usherette and watching cartoons before the feature film. My eyes smarted from the cigarette smoke fuelled haze caught in the oblong light stream from projector to screen. I’m sure I went to the cinema as a teenager more than twice. Yet there are only two movies that I remember seeing: Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mad Max; significant given my interest in paganism and eventual move to Australia!

The picture is from http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/48952/photos/125515


It seems like years since I have seen a movie in a cinema. I was put off by pushy people and the over enthusiastic air conditioning. After lunch on Sunday we braved the Palace in Leichhardt.

Armed with popcorn, wine and a generous cheeseboard we took our pre-booked seats to see Interstellar. To my left, a space claimer (no pun intended) sat down in the chair next to me. By the way he behaved I think I must have been in his seat. This immediately set me into overcompensation “not to make a noise” mode.

I found the film spectacular, believable and the music awesome. I did not dare to break the spell of the the silence of space by munching on a brie loaded cracker. The only hiccup was me creating a constellation on the pristine black carpet at my feet. The contents of the box on my lap tipped as I reached for the wine bottle on the floor. I managed to hold it together as the space-rancher next to me jumped as he felt light balls of corn tumble down his right leg.

No one was harmed in writing this post.

Picture Credit: Fornax Galaxy, ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2