The Ritz, Surbiton

I queued round the block to watch

The Young Ones, Summer Holiday,

getting in halfway through

or just before the end,

and sitting tight to watch

the whole film round again.


Then the programming changed.

The movies became X-rated,

and I was barred, reduced

to gazing longingly if sometimes puzzled

at the posters from my bus

on the way home from school.


The Sixties had turned seedy,

summer holiday skies clouded over.

Time to don a slightly-soiled mac.

Nowadays it’s a Wetherspoon’s,

frequented by the same kind

of blokes. And not a sign of Cliff.

◄ The age of wakefulness

Vincent in Spitalfields ►


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Graham Sherwood

Wed 29th Sep 2021 16:13

When I was very young, my father used to have a p/t job at the local 'Regent' cinema (we know it as the Picture House). I remember he used to bring us kids a small box of 'toffets' home on a Friday night.

Magical times now gone west with a lot of other warmly remembered things.

There's more dodgy stuff on BBC1 than those old x-rated films these days

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Wed 29th Sep 2021 15:47

Why wouldn't I love this Greg? no reason at all. It's rather a coincidence, but the references to Margot are reflected in that opposite the Ritz was a cafe called The Good Life ! The seedy part of town obviously. I loved the last verse. Thanks for the credit but you must be crackers to write about the Ritz.


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Greg Freeman

Wed 29th Sep 2021 13:27

Thanks for the likes, the two Stephens, Holden and John. Maybe Margot would have disapproved, Stephen ... but I've always pictured her as one of those secret 70s Surbiton swingers. Maybe there was a hidden agenda to their friendship with Tom and Barbara.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 27th Sep 2021 16:29

Thanks, Greg. I'm sure Margot Ledbetter would have campaigned against X-rated films. And Wetherspoons...difficult to be civil in view of who owns it.

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Greg Freeman

Mon 27th Sep 2021 13:34

Inspired by a wonderful b/w picture of such a cinema posted by Ray Pool on social media the other day. Thanks, Ray!

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