Nostlagia: ‘Matinee would end with hero facing death’

WHILE technology these days means that you can access almost any film at the touch of a button from the comfort of your own home, there was a time when going to the cinema made for an exciting day out.

Grandfather Kenny Omond, 71, of Livingston, recalled his favourite Saturday afternoon entertainment as a child – going to “the pictures”.

“Long before the advent of Cartoon Network and even Tiswas and Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, the entertainment of choice for youngsters in the 1950s was a visit to the Saturday matinee at one of the many cinemas with which Edinburgh was endowed.

Hide Ad

“Here, for the princely sum of a shilling, kids up to the age of 13-14 were regaled with short films starring characters such as the Three Stooges, Flash Gordon, Captain Video or the Little Rascals – one episode of which featured the indomitable Alfalfa crooning I’m In the Mood for Love.

“The two-hour long matinee invariably finished with a serial in which the hero would face certain death, thereby ensuring a repeat visit by the kids the following Saturday to discover just how one might escape from the jaws of some unfeasibly large crocodile.

Hide Ad

“One of my favourites was King of the Rocketmen in which an Errol Flynn look-alike wearing a scary pointy helmet would fly through the air with the aid of a pair of rockets strapped to his back.”

Mr Omond revealed these early matinees had an impact on his future career choice.

Hide Ad

He said: “This, probably more than anything else was why I became an engineer in the, as yet, unfulfilled hope to re-create a rocket suit and fly about rescuing distressed maidens.”