My Memorable Cinema Experiences

I got thinking a few weeks ago about my most memorable trips to the cinema. Nothing kinky (unfortunately) but still, there have been some trips to watch films that I remember more than others.

As a kid, quite a few incidents spring to mind. One time me and my best friend Chloe got chucked out of our local flea pit The Rio, for throwing cans of coke around. We must have been about thirteen at the time. Unbelievably, this tiny cinema with only two screens and sofas instead of cinema chairs, is still going today. I went there recently in fact to watch The Inbetweeners 2 and Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie.

The guy who owns it used to let us watch literally anything we wanted, I guess out of desperation. The Rio still costs today what it did in 1999 – £3.00 (the average single cinema ticket in the UK costs £10.00) and if four teenagers wanted to watch a gory horror movie, who was he to stop them? And it was greatly possible that the four teenagers could be his only customers for the whole night so don’t chastise him too much.

Although having said that, does anyone else remember when A Clockwork Orange was re-released? It was around 2000 I’m sure. Well me and my friends had heard ‘good’ things about it so trotted off to our local to see it. The only cause for concern that the owner showed us was to say “well I don’t think you’ll like it much” – but he literally could not give a shit, he let us in!

In the year 2000 I would have been about fourteen. The only thing he was bothered about was whether we took in our own snacks. He’s REALLY funny about people taking their own snacks in. He searches peoples bags and everything. Recently I got ‘fined’ 20p for having half a bottle of Fanta in my bag whilst queuing for The Inbetweeners 2.

Of course all snide remarks aside it is still really cool that a cinema from 1931 is still going to this day – especially in my hometown where I grew up. Because let me tell you, there ain’t nothing else going on there (except heavy drug consumption obviously).


I recall another story when I was slightly younger and still going to the cinema with my dad. My parents were separated and I lived with my grandparents so I had the obligatory weekend trips out with my dad where we’d go to the cinema and eat McDonalds (bless him, he’s a good dad).

I remember one time and I wish I could remember the film (but I’d wager a guess at Titanic) – I felt someone kicking my chair intently. I was such a shy kid, I didn’t want to look round. But the kicking continued until I had no choice but to turn and face my enemy.

Two nasty looking girls sat behind me, both giving me an evil stare. They were just being typical cunts kids I suppose, but it upset me at the time and I’ve never forgotten it. I turned back round and the kicking continued again, frantically in fact – but I was terrified so just steadily looked forward until they stopped.

This memory isn’t quite so good either, it contains an ex-boyfriend (urghhhh) and the embarrassment of having to walk out of a packed movie theatre – Basildon Empire on a Friday night – and I don’t like drawing attention to myself at the best of times.

So we were watching Saw 3, arguably the goriest of all the Saw movies. It starts off with a scene….you know what, I can’t describe it – here’s a picture:


So I tried to use a fairly tame picture, but you can hopefully see our lucky guy has chains attached to him by metal hoops. They’re all over his body, in the most painful places and the idea of ‘the game’ (yay I wanna play a game!) is that he pulls out the metal hoops, against the clock, to avoid being murdered in another unpleasant fashion.

Anyway, as Saw fans will know these scenes are pretty OTT and usually accompanied by fast camera movement and VERY LOUD music. Well my wussy ex-boyfriend couldn’t take it – three minutes into the film and he couldn’t take it! He whispered to me that he felt funny and we had to leave.

I was like, you must be kidding surely? I probably even laughed, thinking it was a joke. But cut a long story short, we did end up leaving, half way through this very scene. And I felt like a right twat, convinced that everyone would think that it was ME – the pussy little girl – that was terrified of fake blood and heavy metal music.

Happily I went to see the movie a week or so later with my friend Marie. We then made it our Halloween date for the next four years to watch every sequel. Here come the girls!

So my next memory is the most recent. In 2008 I went to see Gran Torino.


Nothing particularly remarkable about this except I went with my grandad and it was the first time we’d been to the cinema together – ever! I was 22 and he was 68. Now my grandad is a great, great man. And to be a great, great man who do you idolise? Clint Eastwood of course (or Steve McQueen….or Charlie Bronson….or even Jack Nicholson).

But mainly Clint Eastwood.

My grandad introduced me to Spaghetti Westerns and Dirty Harry and when I reported that Clint Eastwood was bringing out a new movie where he turned vigilante-hard-guy once again, my grandad actually agreed to come and see it at the cinema. It was nice sitting there with him, listening to him laugh at Walt’s growling and straight talking attitude.

The only mistake we made was by not realising it had a super sad ending. We weren’t ready for it – I was still crying as we left the cinema and my grandad swore he would never watch it again. He loved it, but the ending definitely depressed him way too much.

But talking of crying in the cinema, we’ve all done it right?

When I was twelve, me and my friend Emily went to see Armageddon. We went to another small, local cinema in a neighbouring town which has since closed down. The Flix only lasted about ten years I think.

Anyway – wow that film made me cry! In my little twelve year old mind, Bruce Willis sacrificing himself for the life of Ben Affleck was THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER.

And the cringe-worthy scene where he appears on screen to ‘Gracie’ saying he’s gonna have to break his promise and not come home is burned into my memory forever, perhaps even the retina of my eye I remember it so clearly.

Anyway, I ended up running out of the screen (probably just as Aerosmith started playing) and dashed to the toilets. Legendarily, that was where Emily found me – crying, in the toilets, wailing between sobs “I…love…Bruce….Willis”. And I still do to this day.

I can save the world, I have a big wrench.

Go away Ben! I told you I can save the world on my own, I have a big wrench.

And on that note, we’re pretty much at the end of my cinema memories. So I’ll end this post with the first movie I can actually remember watching in the cinema – The Little Mermaid.


My nan took me to see it. It came out in 1989 so I’m assuming that’s when we went to see it – I would have been four or five years old. I actually do have vague memories of her sitting next to me snoring but that’s about all I remember. It’s a sad memory in some ways as my nan died a while ago but it’s also a sweet memory of us going to the cinema together, particularly as it was obviously a film that I wanted to see and out of kindness she must have taken me. She was notorious for falling asleep (and snoring) as well.

Least she had a nap I suppose. And it remains my favourite Disney movie ever – it always will be.

There are other incidents of course, but sadly in the rude world we live in it today it seems it is perfectly acceptable to talk through the movie, eat KFC through the movie, giggle through the movie (that isn’t supposed to be funny), smoke cigarettes through the movie, giggle at the fact you’re smoking cigarettes through the movie, translate the language to your foreign friend through the movie, cough during the movie and ask many, many questions in a loud voice during the movie……all of these are standard displays nowadays.


About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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25 Responses to My Memorable Cinema Experiences

  1. The Vern says:

    Hi Emmy That was a wonderful post. UGHH I would have gone behind those girls and started kicking their chairs if I was that age. What a wuss your ex was having to leave Saw halfway through. Such great memories of the movies and its cool that you also still have a theater that was made in the 30’s and is still running

    • emmakwall says:

      Verny you are so sweet!! Reading this old post thank you so much!

      Those girls scared me!! But I was a young wimp at the time. Still a bit of a wimp now 🙂

      You’d love that theatre in my hometown, if you ever come to England I’m taking you there! Popcorn is on me 🙂

      Argh don’t!!!! He was SUCH a wuss and I was hideously embarrassed and annoyed. I mean….really?!!

  2. vinnieh says:

    The last great experience I had in the cinema was Fury Road.

  3. I love movie memories. Thanks for sharing, Luvs!

  4. Such a fantastic post! I enjoyed reading the crap out of this.

    I went to see one of the terrible Flintstone movies with a friend and we got yelled at for making too much noise. I was moving a plastic shopping bag for about 3 seconds and the usher freaked out.
    I’ve got some happy movie memories and some not-so due to also dealing with bitchery by fellow movie-goers but they’re too long to list!

    I saw Armageddon too and though I hate it now, I admit I cried my eyes out. I was so embarrassed because I was with a friend who never saw me like that & I tried to hide my crying, we didn’t talk about it!

    The first movie I saw in the cinema was Back to the Future & the second was PeeWee’s Big Adventure that same summer.

    That cinema is amazing looking & I love that old lettering on the sign, so cool it’s still standing and operating.

    • emmakwall says:

      Aww thanks for such a lovely comment Susan!!! I really smiled at what you wrote, I’m so glad you reading the crap outta it 🙂 🙂

      Haha, moving a plastic bag for 3 seconds – obviously reason to get told off (huh?!)


      Thanks for kind words about The Rio. I guess I have seen differently since writing this post, it really is quite cool! When we were younger we just thought it was a dive. The sweets and drinks they sell are all really retro as well, there’s a salt pot on the side to individually salt your popcorn!

      Back to the Future is SUCH a cool movie to have seen first, my boyfriend’s best friend loves that PeeWee Herman movie 🙂

      So it took Armageddon to break your steely silence 🙂 it’s a good crying movie!!

      • Your welcome=)!
        The salt pot adds so much character, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that at a theatre, that’s absolutely awesome.
        My favorite local theatre was built in the 40’s and has been updated a bit, they got rid of the old cool marquee too-lame! But still a favorite.

        • emmakwall says:

          That sounds brilliant too, have they kept the decoration in the 40s style a bit? What was the marque like? What a shame they got rid of it!!

          Thanks again 🙂 🙂

          • It’s not super modern but it’s not super old-timey they’ve changed it up but the layout, architecture and red carpety/lightbulbyness of it makes it feel older if that makes any sense.
            The marque was just one of those big square ones with lights all around, now I think it’s cards they slide in and out off the sign, lame!

  5. That a lovely post Emma 🙂 That theatre looks gorgeous! I think my most memorable childhood cinema experience was when my parents took my sister and I to see Jaws. We sat in a row of seats in which there was about a twelve foot gap before the next row started. At the point in the movie where the skeleton pops out of the sunken boat, my mother was so startled that she jerked her leg and her clog went flying off! It just missed someone in the next row! It was hysterical 🙂

  6. Tom Schultz says:

    Naturally, I applaud your grandad’s good taste. I like Gran Torino for the Detroit connection. Walt lived in Hamtramck, a small city within the boundaries of Detroit, formerly a Polish-American enclave. It’s about 10 miles from where I live. But, there’s more. He owns a Ford Gran Torino, and he used to work at Ford Motor. Well, the only Ford plant in Detroit was the mammoth Rouge Plant (didn’t actually make Gran Torinos there–they assembled Mustangs back in the day). And guess who worked one summer at the Rouge Plant? Yep, I did way back when. Maybe I met Walt. 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      Wow, maybe you did! Let’s just say you did, it’s fun 🙂

      So what did you do in the Mustang plant?

      I bet it’s super cold at the moment isn’t it!!

      • Tom Schultz says:

        Actually, we’re having a rather mild December here in Detroit–about 5 to 7 C. Woo-hoo!

        When I worked there, the Ford Rouge was an enormous complex with many factories, from steel mills to final car assembly. I worked in a steel plant, where we cut pieces of steel to the size of car frames (mostly), which were then sent to the stamping plant and from there to the assembly plant. Not particularly hard work, but extremely loud with the machinery. And hot in the summer when I was there.

  7. romeorites says:

    Brilliant! thanks for sharing those memories of the cinema. My Dad (who is no longer with us) was a massive Clint Eastwood fan, something I inherited through the wonders of genetics. His favourite was Heartbreak Ridge, and The Outlaw Josey Wales.

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks!! And I am so sorry for such a late response, I have been so busy recently and not been on WordPress.

      But lovely to read your comment (thank you again!) and I am so glad to hear your Dad was a big Clint fan too 🙂

      Genetics are amazing aren’t they! 🙂

      Are your favourites the same as your dad’s or do you prefer other Clint movies? Bet the nostalgia means the most though.

      • romeorites says:

        No worries. I really like both of my dad’s fave Clint movies. I do really like the Dirty Harry stuff and probably In The Line of Fire but I really dont think I have an out and out favourite. If I had to pick one to be a favourite it would be Heartbreak Ridge and I think thats because I know it meant a lot to my Dad, and it is a great movie.

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