A strange cinema indeed
YOUR enjoyable piece on independent cinemas (November 16) rekindled a memory for me and many other students at Oxford during my time, in the mid to late 1980s, might also recall the Penultimate Picture Palace on Cowley Road and (Not The) Moulin Rouge in Headington. The former had a perhaps un-pc Al Jolson face and hands above the entrance; the latter had a large pair of stockinged can-can legs—it is these legs that now grace the Duke of York’s Picture House in Brighton (above).
The cinemas were operated by Bill Heine, who smoked the occasional cigar during films and, quite reasonably, plonked a large fibreglass shark on the roof of his home. The films that were shown were eclectic and, on one or two occasions, when I was the only person there, the management preferred not to show the feature presentation to such a small audience.
All the world—and half a lifetime—away from the sterile chain cinemas of today. Andy Johnstone, by email