Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Excuse me please.........


From the good people of Secret Cinema now comes Another Cinema, and I had the great fortune to attend their first night in London's less than glittering Eastend, at the Troxy.

The Troxy originally opened as a cinema in 1933 and was designed to seat an audience of 3520 people. It cost £250,000 to build and was erected on the site of an old brewery. The cinema had luxurious seating areas and mirror-lined restaurants and all the staff wore evening dress. It seemed like Hollywood had come to the Commercial Road in all its glory. Out side was a blaze of lights, inside a large foyer with a large sweeping staircase, chandeliers, floor to ceiling mirrors and thick carpets............During its time as a cinema, Troxy regularly hosted international stars such as The Andrews Sisters, Gracie Fields, Petula Clark, Cliff Richard and even Clark Gable.

It's awfully easy to lie when you know that you're trusted
implicitly. So very easy, and so very degrading.

Restored to it's former glory, the Troxy is now used for all sorts of functions and on Saturday, Another Cinema recreated a night out from the 1940s complete with usherettes to greet us and lead us to our table. There were dancing girls, bellhops, a band and a chanteuse, all before the big picture which was David Lean's Brief Encounter, starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. All quite, quite marvelous. Although there were actual people older than my friend and I in attendance, the majority were 20 and 30 somethings all of whom had embraced the suggested dress code. Most of the young men were in black tie or a good suit and all the women wore dresses ranging from modern evening to full vintage splendor. There were plenty of tippets, hats and assorted head gear in evidence, Dolly Missiter bustled about the tables complaining about the frightful time she was having and we stood for the National Anthem. I know Brief Encounter backwards, forwards, inside out but I've never seen it on the big screen and as the Rachmaninov soared we were transported to another time......... that Noel Coward is such a jolly good writer you know. My new favourite fact: in the film it is Noel Coward who makes the train announcements at Milford station.

Everyone was incredibly polite to us and in turn we to each other. As we left the fabulous theatre the staff lined up to say goodnight and thank us for coming, everyone was immensely happy. It got me wondering, if we still observed such politeness and respect to each other, would we not all get on a little bit better?

Top tip: To dispel all winter blues go see The Muppets movie .... all your old favourites and the Muppet barbershop quartet singing Smells Like Teen Spirit is worth the price of the ticket alone.

21 comments:

  1. WOW ..... sounds like a great night out, one that I would have enjoyed. Brief Encounter was a great choice of film for the occasion and lovely to see that politeness was observed....a rare thing nowadays !!
    ...... and now, for me, The Muppets is a must see as I can just imagine a Nirvana song given the Muppet treatment !!!! XXXX

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  2. I never knew that about the announcements, I need to watch CE again. Kermit does Kurt, hahaha. How strange that you should end your post with top tip, I just started one with the every same words.

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  3. I'm also a fan of Brief Encounter, and most especially, of Trevor Howard. At first I thought the photo was from The Third Man.

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  4. Our small theatre on the Island recreates the Oscars ceremony. All attendees walk down the red carpet into the glare of camara flashbulbs.

    It sounds like you are having a lot of fun.

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  5. That sounds like a great night out - I think we should all show each other more respect and politeness. Can't wait to see the Muppets. xx

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  6. Oh that sounds so lovely - I scribbled a quick note into my little book reserved for tips concerning England (when I'm there I have often forgotten what I wanted to buy - or to visit). I love special dress-efforts for special occasions - and manners and politeness makes life easier (I think that English people are much more polite as a whole - and not so pushy).

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  7. If people behaved better then yes, I think we all would indeed get along!
    Sounds like a fantastic place!

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  8. I saw the Muppets at the weekend - pure genius.
    Dave Ghrol in the tribute band as Animal was another priceless moment.

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  9. I cannot make my mind up if I'd enjoy the experience you described or loath it for being too "posh", but I'm glad you enjoyed the evening.
    There was something so absolutely British about those films. I wonder if the current youth will ever discover the stiff upper lip of the last generation?

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  10. The Troxy sounds so cool - love the name for a start. And Petula Clark - now I have Downtown ringing in my ears. As girls we made up a dance to that. And you really make me want to see the muppet movie now. Just in London and I went to the Electric Club in Portobello Road for the first time which was really cool, had many good seshes at The Electric downstairs...

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  11. Fabulous. I introduced my husband to Blithe Spirit last night.. he loved Margaret Rutherford ofcourse frightfully. This all reminds me of the Burlesque show we saw last week..all the young girls embracing the old stuff.. what fun eh!

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  12. One of the really good things about boarding school was the fact that the easiest way to look after us all on a Saturday night was to stick us in front of a movie so we got to see lots of old films on the big screen. Wonderful. But dressing for the occasion sounds fun! Will they be continuing to show oldies or was this because of BEs re-release?

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  13. Wow o wow. We have a Seattle theatre that features old movies and serves food and drink. But not fancy. Fancy is special.

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  14. Oh this sounds fabulous. What a fun evening. I love the clipped way Celia Johnson speaks in Brief Encounter !
    Not sure about The Muppet Movie - I mean I loved them but we rarely get to the cinema.

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  15. I agree with the previous reader re the name "Troxy" - it just sounds special and your description of it "sells" it. It's hard to believe that we used to always stand up at the end of a film for the National Anthem..........

    Re the muppets: The Great Gonzo was my hero for years!

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  16. Oh... how I wish we could have something like that up here. I love having an excuse to dress up. Makes it so much more of an occasion - and it can help people get a bit flirty (or was that just the champagne? :))

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  17. Jo! please can you email me? can't find your address.it's about a writing opp you may be interested in? Fiona xx

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  18. I never knew it was Noel Coward doing the announcements! Cool! Now I can bore everyone to death with a new piece of triv. (I only have about 3 and recycle them endlessly. Now I have 4.)

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