Memories

Maghmood Allie, Plumstead

So my teenage son asks my older daughter recently, “Do you remember when going to the movies was R20?”

What? I remember going to the movies costing 8 cents. That 8 cents could be quite an amount those days, I realise. Of course, this was a while ago. Quite a while ago. I remember it well.

Every Saturday, two movies, “shorts” of the next releases, an episode of Johnny Robot or other series. And adverts. 8 cents! Imagine that. That ticket would allow you a seat downstairs, not against the back wall or upstairs as that was 12 and 25 cents.

But, after the lights went out, action. No, nothing of that sort, we were kids.

I’m talking about getting a seat upstairs where the older and more fortunate were seated. Whether they saw any bit of the movies, I don’t know. But the back wall with its double letter designation, the place to be if you were older and daring!

Then sneaking in the dark hoping that Hannes, the usher, would not be onto you and “politely” ask you to vacate the upstairs seat which you did not pay for.

But where are we? The Luxurama, the Lux as it was affectionately known. Park Road, Wynberg. Like 50m from my house. My home away from home. And home to so many others.

The lights would dim, the curtains would reveal the biggest screen in the south.

I was amazed at the ads. American voices, motor racing clips, people playing golf. Yes, this was “After action, satisfaction. Lexington, alive with flavour.”

More American voices, people in bathing costumes running on the beach, people on the ski slopes. “Set course for fun. Chase the holiday slopes. Wherever you go, so much more to enjoy. Peter Stuyvesant. The International passport to smoking pleasure.”

Smoking hazardous to your health? What? No ways.

But my best memory: on the way home acting out what we just saw. Everyone wanted to be the “outjie” or “roeker” i.e. the main dude.

We were drawing imaginery guns out of imaginery holsters faster than Clint Eastwood or Terence Hill. Our Kung Fu moves were on a par with Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris. Cowboys and Indians? Nothing political here. No motions of no confidence. Pure, childhood fun.