I invariably picked the back row, especially in the smaller theatres, the old ones with the red plush seats, tucked away in a has-been nook of town, where they still had a projector that fed on celluloid. That is where the magic happened.
When the beam of light pushed through the hovering dust and hit that big screen, there was nothing finer than the rattle of the dinky machine to keep you company for an hour or two; the soothing sound of film looping its way towards that flickering beam, one frame at a time.
To me, that is what the movies are all about. Not the screen. Not the beam. But the rattle.
And now they’ve all but taken that away from me. The celluloid trade is dead. And with it that dinky machine and its creaky sprockets. Replaced by hard-drives humming to the silent beat of zeroes and ones. A century of tradition wiped out. And those red plush seats with it.
I still go to the cinema. Still pick the back row.
But though the screens have gotten bigger, to me the pictures have gotten small.
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