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Getting A Lift Into The City

Manly Ferry into the city for a night out.

Nice Article About How The Miramar Roxy Cinema Used To Be

This is from CapitalTimes.co.nz http://www.capitaltimes.co.nz/article/3612/Heartbeat.html) - I reproduce it in full as I don't know how long they keep articles up online*
Psychologists have found that the majority of our clearest and most vivid memories come from the period between adolescence and young adulthood, a time they call our “reminiscence bump”. Retired lawyer Doug Webb’s reminiscence bump features many memories of Miramar, and of adventures to its picture theatre.

DOUG Webb moved to Miramar with his family in 1950 when he was four and stayed there for 20 years.

Almost every Saturday afternoon Webb and his brother would venture on foot to Capitol Cinema – Miramar’s very own picture theatre.

“Most families didn’t have cars, and especially in an area like the Eastern suburbs, the local picture theatre was it for the weekend,” says Webb.

“It was a big deal for kids right across the Miramar suburb. The theatre would be bulging both upstairs and downstairs. Would you expect an eight or nine-year-old to go to the movies on their own and sit through two or three hours of film today? I don’t think so. “In the post-war years there were a lot of kids around, and they all did everything for themselves. You took your pleasures where you could find them.”

The two o’clock matinee started with the national anthem, (God Save the Queen, mind, not the one we sing these days), for which everyone stood. Then followed Australian newsreels and perhaps a short New Zealand story, often a farming one, and cartoons and comedies.

“Miramar was a movie town even way back then. Whenever you walked along that section of the road there’d be fragments of film blowing round the footpath like confetti.”
At half time, ice-cream vendors would go into the theatre and sell sweet treats to kids in their seats, and after the break two back-to-back features would play.

Webb recalls other fragments and oddities about the picture theatre (it wasn’t called the “movies” until later): “A curtained stage at the front meant when curtains were drawn it was as though you were watching something live. The equipment was old so quite commonly you’d be watching in a crowded theatre and a big growing circle would appear in the middle of the screen. Suddenly the theatre would be plunged into darkness, which of course got the kids acting up and rolling sweets down the aisles, while they re-spliced the film.”

At the time, Miramar housed the National Film Unit, which then functioned as a Government-owned producer of film.

A group of locals are currently working to re-open the building next year as the Roxy Cinema.

Weta co-founder and workshop manager Tania Rodger is part of the team.
“It was in quite a bad state, we had to knock it down and rebuild it. The technology will be new, but the look and feel of it will be reminiscent of the art deco era, with curiosities in the interior decoration,” says Rodger.

One such curiosity is a time capsule, for which material is currently being collected.
The time capsule will eventually be installed where cinemagoers may see it, probably entombed in a wall.

“I overheard someone saying they couldn’t wait to just walk down the road to go to the movies. It could become a nice little heartbeat here.”

If you have something to add to the time capsule, email info@roxycinema.co.nz.

* if someone requires me to take it down then by all means let me know

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