20 March 2009

Smashed Palaces

celluloid_circus_sm The Celluloid Circus: the Heyday of the New Zealand Picture Theatre, by Wayne Brittenden (Godwit, $50).

Reviewed by Chris Bourke

The last time I heard 'God Save the Queen' at the pictures, the film was Dirty Harry. The theatre was the King George on Lower Hutt's High Street; the ticket cost 30c. I remember a man wearing an RSA badge ticking off my gang of 13-year-olds. Maybe we were ostentatiously refusing to stand to attention.

That was in 1973, when some filmgoers still saw standing for the anthem as a requirement of citizenship. After all, our cinemas from Kaitaia to Bluff declared their fealty to the monarchy with names like the Regent, the Majestic, the Kings, the Empire and the Empress. I can hear the drum roll, Fernando.

(This is just a trailer. For the main attraction, go to Scoop Review of Books.)

No comments: