Prometheus – Ridley Scotts latest Sci-Fi epic has been released; I will wait for the video to be released and hope that Mini Cine in Albox or La Montana in Bedar screen it as films are much better on the big screen. Star Wars was released in 1977 and Alien in 1979 with both getting many of us hooked on Sci-Fi.
Growing up in Guildford cinema was a big part of my life; Saturday Cinema at the Odeon was a cunning way for parents to get a few child free hours. We kids loved it as apart from the ushers and Scary Manager patrolling the aisles we were left to our own devices. When Star wars was released in May 1977 my dad caved in to my pleas to see it and drove us both into town. The queue was huge and snaked round behind the cinema.
My dad being a sensible sort dropped me off at the back of the line with instructions to hold the place in the queue whilst he went off to park the car. I was only 10 at the time and nervous of being left alone. The queue quickly shortened and I got nearer and nearer to the ticket office and still he wasn’t back. Then horror of horrors it was my turn at the counter and dad was nowhere. I awkwardly stood to the side willing my dad to come and save me. Nowadays a quick call or text on a mobile would have reassured me but in the prehistoric 70s no such luxury.
After what seemed an age I got it into my head that dad had forgotten me and gone home; so I thought I should take the bus home. Mum was surprised to see me as dad was nowhere to be seen. An hour or so later my dad came home thinking his eldest son had been kidnapped. He had finally found a parking space but could not find me in the ticket hall. Thinking I must have gone into see the film he spoke to Scary Manager (who always wore a morning suit) and the two of them walked up and down every row of seats with a torch trying to find me.
The incident traumatised me and I stopped going to the cinema for a few years as I feared the scary manager would recognise me and tell me off. Then when I was 15 my mum got a secretary’s job at the Odeon. As a perk she got a little booklet. This magic booklet quickly helped me overcome my cinema phobia as it entitled the holder to two free tickets a week. My mum never liked the cinema and my two brothers were too young so the booklet became mine.
I generously treated my girlfriend nearly every week and in those days it was also easy to sneak into anything ‘X’ rated so over the years we saw loads of films; but I never saw Star Wars!