How Cinema Smoking Areas Were Good For Us – Sort Of

Having gone to the cinema a few times recently it got me thinking. How much my enjoyment of the cinema experience has changed over the years. But there is a bit more to it than that…

Modern Cinema

Now, the most recent post-coronavirus lockdown cinema experience is fantastic. Basically you get the cinema to yourself. I seem to anyway. But that is not what I am talking about here.

Usually going to the cinema means plenty of people in an enclosed space. OK, I admit it; that alone puts me off. But the real problem is that cinemas these days offer all kinds of food, sweets and drinks. So sitting in a cinema watching a popular movie means the sound of people crunching and slurping. It is not my idea of trying to watch a film. Especially if it is one with dialogue that you need to concentrate on.

Back in the day…

OK. Back in the day means a long time ago for anyone around my age. But stay with me. Back in the day was different. They still sold food and sweets but mostly this used to happen during an ‘intermission’. Ask you parents or even grandparents if you don’t understand that one. In reality though people used to go to watch the film rather than scoff non-stop. These days the movie is almost secondary to some kind of unhealthy meal or plain grazing…

Also of course way back in the day I was a kid too. (Yes I really was!) So, I just got as excited as any other kid (now or then) about going to the cinema.

Smoking Area?

Way back then the cinemas used to have smoking areas. It seems incredible now but here is a lesson for all those who are too young to remember that. One side of the cinema would be designated as the smoking area. ‘But this was a small enclosed space!’ – Shock! Horror! I hear you cry. Correct. But here is where the lesson begins.

Naturally the smoke would rise and could be seen drifting upwards and moving over the top of the room and kind of dropping on the other side of the theatre. Almost forming a frame around the screen. The more smokers there were in the cinema the worse and more dense that ‘frame’ would be. But it never seemed to bother anyone. And it really never spoiled any movie for the film watchers. Ever. In fact we all thought it was a bit funny. Looking back with people old enough to remember that old cinema smoke always makes people laugh.

Today it’s just too much…

These days of course smoking is banned pretty much everywhere for people’s health and nobody would really argue against that. However, there was something back then that is seriously missing from today’s world. I wish I could take today’s kids back in time to show them that smokey cinema. They are so over-protected these days. For their own good of course. At least that is the story. It means that they are now more or less told when and how much to worry.

I wonder; is that why so many people ran and hid behind the sofa when the authorities ran their coronavirus scare stories? I am sure it is a big part of it.

I am not saying we should bring back smoking in cinemas or anything of the sort. But there is definitely something missing in the lives of the younger generations, and it is not good. I do believe they no longer have a real grasp on what is and what is not a real threat to them. Life is a very risky business. There are things to be aware of and things to be cautious of. There are also times when we just need to get on with life. A bit like those old World War 2 slogans that oddly seem quite popular these days on cushions, pictures etc… “Keep Calm and Carry On”. How can those be so popular when people seem to be so unable to take that simple advice these days.

Lesson over…And now…

And there ends the lesson for today folks. Now I am off with my son to teach him how to play hopscotch on the main road. It’s a great game, you should try it. But it’s no fun if there is no traffic… Take care!

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