Saturday, 12 May 2018



May is going by in a flash and if there hasn't been much blogging lately, that's because I've been out pretty well every day/evening and, frankly, I'm knackered.
But my best outing this week - corny as it sounds - has been to the BFI to see The Sound of Music. I hadn't seen it in a cinema since a 9th birthday treat when it first came out but a new 70mm print from the original camera negative has just been released. (Screening dates are here.) I'm not entirely sure what that means, not being technically minded, but it looked fabulous, as good as seeing it at the original première, we were told. Anyway, you could see every blade of grass on the mountainside ... or is that just seeing it on a big screen with the contact lenses that hadn't been invented in 1960-whatever? (No wonder I was hopeless at a biology/chemistry/maths and every lesson that involved squiggles on a blackboard that I couldn't see.)
I'm normally getting fidgety when films last too long ...but this was three hours (five minute intermission - remember the intermission?) and I lapped up every glorious minute from How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? to the escape from the Nazis. (I don't think that when I was nine I appreciated quite how gorgeous Christopher Plummer was. No wonder Maria gave up on being a nun.) I'd have happily sat through it all again but continuous performances are a thing of the past. And sadly, no Lyons Maid strawberry sundae which was for birthday treats only - unless my mum was feeling flush - because they cost 2s which was a whopping extravagance and my idea of the height of sophistication.
Going to the cinema in the daytime is one of my Favourite Things - and when we emerged into the sunshine (I refuse to feel guilty about wasting the heatwave; if I hadn't gone into town, I'd still have been faffing about in the house) we had lunch sitting under roses and lilac in the Southbank roof garden ... which was almost deserted.

8 comments:

Lesley Anne said...

I remember going to see The Sound of Music at the Gaumont Cinema in Glasgow with my mother and grandmother when I was 5. This was the only occasion I can remember going to the cinema with either of these ladies- usually I went with my Dad, often when visiting my grandmother to escape the chaos of her home and the constant battles between her and my mother. I must admit I can recall getting quite fidgety towards the end, but I may have just been anxious about them having to sing Edelweiss before escaping from the Nazis. I haven't seen it in years, but I bet seeing it on a big screen was amazing.

I don't remember getting a special ice cream at the cinema, but as I was certainly in my best dress and patent leather Mary Janes for the occasion, I probably wasn't allowed one.

I suspect instead we went for afternoon tea at one of the grand department stores where as well as the delights of the cake trolley there would have been ladies modelling costumes available in store, carrying little cards with details of their ensembles. To me that was the height of sophistication.

Mary said...

We saw it at the Gaumont in Manchester, Mary-Anne - where it ran for years and years, if I remember rightly - and we thought the Gaumont was the last word in posh. (I think there was a twinkly ball hanging from the ceiling. or is that my imagination!) I don't know what we'd have made of today's posh cinemas with sofas and table service. I don't suppose I'd have been that impressed as I liked gold fittings and red velvet and I wouldn't have swapped strawberry sundae or a Mivvi for pizza/popcorn.
I don't remember ladies modelling in the shops - perhaps it happened at Kendal's but that was so grand, we never went there.

Gina said...

It was the Lyons Maid strawberry sundae that brought memories rushing back for me and of going to see Dr Dolittle at the Odeon Marble Arch fifty years ago!

Mary said...

They were such a treat as our little local cinema - where I saw Dr Dolittle - didn't sell them.

Veronica Cooke said...

I saw this as an adult at the cinema in the hospital where I did my training in the 1970s; along with the audience of adults with learning disabilities who sang along with all the songs...

I don't remember the strawberry sundaes but I do remember Mivvi ice lollies!

Mary said...

I loved Mivvis - do they still make them? I haven't had one for years. They were cinema treats, not from shops as I recall.

Lucille said...

We went yesterday and despite the projector breaking down twice, it was glorious. My husband had never seen it. How is this possible? I'd forgotten some of the details. And we came away with free tickets for another film because of the disruption and the drilling. I await your further recommendations.

Mary said...

I've just found a stash of unpublished comments I didn't know I had, Lucille. So glad you enjoyed it - I loved every minute, so did the friend who came with me - but when I mentioned it to other friends, they clearly thought it was too cheesy for words! Don't know what they missed! How did your husband miss out? But when I think back, I'm not sure my brothers would have gone - it was a girly birthday outing that year. My dad went, but probably under duress.