One English Pound

One whole English pound was a lot of money to find. On the day that I did find it though it meant my day of fun at the movies could last a little longer.

I don’t even remember what I went to see. I can’t be sure it was such a long time ago. I have seen so many movies since then some good, some bad and others I just can’t remember.

It could have been ‘Tora, Tora, Tora’ or ‘The Poseidon Adventure’ or was it ‘Fiddler on The Roof’. They were all good.

The ones I didn’t like were the horror ones ‘Carrie’, ‘Friday the 13th’, those kind of movie. Especially when you are sat in an almost empty cinema at midnight. On your own with some weird old guy sat a few rows back.

I think it was “Tora, Tora, Tora” and “Fiddler on The Roof” with Topol that were showing that day. ‘Fiddler on The Roof’ was my favourite. The music, the story and the sentiment, the trials and tribulations of family life. No matter what happens in life when you think you have given all you can you just have to give a little bit more. I hope I see it again one day. I hope I see my parents again one day too.

It really has been such a long time, I think I was eleven or twelve. Every Saturday I went to the cinema, it was wonderful. I would go watch a movie with enough money to buy a drink and some sweets.

Our ornate Odeon building in Leeds city centre had been one huge cinema in the glory days of the 1940’s and 1950’s. It was now divided into two. Once you were in the building getting from one screen to the other without paying was easy. Lots of kids did it and no one ever asked to see a ticket.

The only problem was that I was only allowed to stay for one movie and I had to go home. I was only ever given enough money for one visit. Today was different, on the way out preparing for my walk home and return to reality I found it. One whole English pound. I am not sure if I had ever had that much money before. It was quite a lot I know I got a lot of popcorn, chocolate and pop for it.

I was desperate to stay longer especially as I now had the means. I phoned home and pleaded. I told my mother I had enjoyed the film so much and had been told I could stay for the second show for free. Reluctantly she agreed that I could stay for one more show. I wish I hadn’t.

Loaded down with goodies I went back inside it was easy there I was again in that huge warm enveloping space, once again the darkness. Then the music, the action, the laughter and tears. It was a wonderful I stayed all day twice through each movie, I kept meaning to leave but I seemed to have a bottomless pit of money to buy goodies. I really was in for it when I got home.

That’s was a long time ago now and I wish I had left that coin on the floor in the foyer. I am still here you see I don’t know how many movies I have watched I can’t remember I just want to go home. I often think of my parents I don’t know how old they will be I suppose they might have died.

I watched the last movie when The Odeon closed a few years ago. It was a full-blown multi-screen by then. The foyer is now a 24hr supermarket, which is fun. There is always something happening and lots of people around. The rest of the building is shops, offices and apartments, I have been in them all.

The funny thing is I expected by now I might look like Topol did in the movie. Old, tired with grey hair and a beard. I don’t, I have seen my reflection in mirrors in the apartments. It was me alright the same twelve-year-old boy who found that pound all those years ago. I miss the cinema sometimes but more than anything I just want to leave this building and go home.


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