Tom Dodson - 'Saturday Matinee'

'Saturday Matinee'

Approx. Image Size: 16" x 20"

Copyright Studio Arts / Fine Art Trade Guild.  All Rights Reserved

On Saturday morning or afternoon, if we had not bought any sweets that week or had some spends left, we went to the local picture house.  We paid two pence to see our idols- Pearl White, Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges and Flash Gordon.  For a brief time, we lived in another world and could forget we were poor and just children.  We could swing through the trees with Tarzan and have an ape for a friend.  Or, we could hide behind our hands when the ‘Green Men’ came out from the walls to torment Flash Gordon. Frightened though we were, we did not want to miss anything, so we left our fingers open just a little, to see what was going on.  During the interval we stamped our feet and tormented the girls while the reel was changed.  If you were lucky enough to sit on the balcony you could chuck things down on your pals.  And if you were sitting above someone you didn’t like that week, you could even spit on them!  You just had to make sure the usherette didn’t catch you or you would be out - with a thick ear.

After the matinee, we all came chasing out of the picture house with our coats draped around our necks like we were Flash Gordon or Dracula, whooping and weaving along and pulling the girls’ pigtails whenever we passed them.   We only became more subdued when we got nearer to home, knowing that it would be another week before we could escape into our fantasy world again.