Wednesday 16 March 2011
Salisbury Magic Lantern
Not a folly in a city with few of those anyway this is the local cinema in Salisbury. It’s just lovely and still smells a little like a cinema should all beaten with yellow egg and toffee varnish. Formerly the house of John Halle back in the late 1400s, four times the mayor and imprisoned for offending the king, champion of the people against their then overlord and Bishop. It might then have passed through many uses but as a cinema it is just splendid. On certain dates (a closely guarded secret) late night showings attract crowds in the dress of previous days and reels of films long seen since on rainy Saturday afternoons. There then bored usherettes arrayed with little drinks and runny choc ices occupy the space between the double and the bill but take only pre-decimal coinage. Here then on those special times a soft and slight slip to times of white dog poo, spangles and flashers. But the cinema even without its stale cigarette magic is wonderful all the same.