The Magnet Cinema


Queuing at eleven every Saturday morning,
two pence clutched in grimy palms,
we burst through its doors,
trying to get a seat,
as near the screen as possible.

Baldy, the manager, Heaven help him,
came out every ten minutes,
to try and calm the rabble,
of lads in grimy shorts,
wearing browne bumpers from T.J's.

Furiously sucking swizzles and lollipops,
we sang along with the ‘Raggle Taggle Gypsies O’
“If I knew you were coming I’da baked a cake,
baked a cake “
as a white ball bounced in time across the screen.

Terrified into silence by a Gorilla
chasing Flash Gordon through deserted tunnels,
then booing Ming Mercilessly,
we roared and cheered with more fervour,
than any Just William
when Flash escaped.

Till the main feature started
and we ducked and dived,
at arrows peppering the silver screen,
but all to soon,
it was over ,
and out into the blinding light,
poured hundreds of Hopalong Cassidy’s
galloping home.

By Reg Leonard