Often when I tell Little Boots about my childhood, it feels like I am discussing medieval history.
A recent case in point was when I was telling a story about when Star Wars first came out.
By Star Wars I mean the first movie, which to many of us will always be Star Wars and never A New Hope.
In those days, unlike today, films did not come out at the all the cinemas at the same time. Our local town was usually two weeks behind cinemas in the nearest large conurbation, which was itself behind London.
From somewhere, a rumour started that Star Wars was not coming to our local cinema because the screen was too small. This rapidly became gospel at our school, sending the pupils into paroxysm of anxiety and nervous excitement.
Somehow, my brother and I persuaded the Old Man that it was essential that we see the movie and to this day I’m really not sure how, because he probably hadn’t been to the flicks since the early sixties.
Anyway one evening the Old Man took us along to one of the “big” cinemas twenty miles way. It was big because it had more than one screen, which was impressive to us. As we turned the corner we saw a huge queue snaking back from the cinema. My brother and I were sure that we would never get in. Dad reassured us that we would, but frankly I was not convinced.
However the doors opened and before long we were in.
It was an amazing experience, because apart from Disney films, we had not really been to the “pictures” a great deal.
There were two outcomes from this “event” – I call it that because it does stand out significantly in my memories of my last years at primary school.
Firstly that my Dad loved it. Not surprisingly really, because it is basically a western and the old man loves a good western, but he also really raved about how the equipment all looked battered and used rather than pristine which was the usual model for Sci-Fi movies. Consequently, for a couple of years thereafter he agreed to take us to see any movie we suggested. Close Encounters and Grease stand out as examples.
The second, and far more important result, was that my brother and I saw Star Wars a full two weeks before it eventually came to our town cinema, dispelling the myth that it wouldn’t.
And for that period we absolutely ruled the school, with what felt like demi-god status. Thus we also spoiled it for everyone, by explaining the plot, and other facets of the film, in infinite detail. Not, I’m sure,that that made a jot of difference to the kids’ enjoyment of the movie once they saw it themselves.
This was a tale I recently told Little Boots and whilst a lot of the background seems from ancient past, the kudos with seeing a mega-movie ahead of the other kids still holds good.