In 1927 my Dad of 19 met my Mum of 17. On their first date he took her to the cinema in North Street/Wickersham Road, Horsham, a building with a corrugated tin roof known locally as ‘the flea pit’. The film showing was Harold Lloyd. They had to queue to get in.
When it rained on the tin roof everyone cheered because they couldn’t hear the fat lady playing the piano.
The cost: Bag of aniseed balls one penny. Cinema tickets six pence. Ice creams four pence. Fish and chip supper one shilling. Total 1st 11d (about ten new pence). This worked out to about three per cent of his weekly income?
In 1957 at 17 I met my wife, also 17. Our first date to the Ritz cinema in North Street. The film was Joan Collins. We had to queue to get in.
The cost: A big box of Poppets one shilling and six pence. Cinema tickets three shillings and six pence (upstairs, back row for a kiss and cuddle), ice creams six pence. Fish and chip supper three shillings. Total cost 8s 6d (about 45 new pence). This worked out around nine per cent of my weekly income.
In 2013 I took my wife to a cinema in Worthing to see Tom Cruise in Oblivion. We did not have to queue to get in.
The cost: two packets of sweets £4. Cinema tickets £12. Ice creams £4. Fish and chip supper £12. Total cost £32. Around 24 per cent of my weekly income.
There were eight patrons watching the film. It cost more to pay the staff than they took at the box office.
This is not a complaint, just a light hearted look at life but is there a lesson to be learnt here?
Station Road, Worthing