The Saturday Morning Matinee in the Cinema
"During the Second World War, as youngsters we would look forward to the Saturday morning matinee at the Odeon cinema (4th building from the left of photo of Epsom, E37053). Entrance was thruppence (three pennies). With our pocket money we would lash out on a penny peashooter with a packet of peas, the matinee used to start with a sing-along, a cartoon, then two half-hour films, the last being a western serial.
One that I remember well ends with the good guy entering the cabin and then it explodes, next Saturday’s serial shows the guy coming out of the back door just before the explosion. Bad guys always wore the black hats, this was the time for the booing, the good guys wore white hats, this was the time for the cheering! The noise was so loud the cinema manager would come up on the stage to ask the kids to keep the noise down, I’m sure it could be heard half way down the High Street.
Now, this was the time for the peashooters. Years later in 1955, when I was posted to Epsom in the Metropolitan Police, the Saturday morning matinee was still operating, with the same cinema manager. If I happened to be on the beat in the High Street on a Saturday morning he would call to me, “Constable, come and speak to these children”. Not on your life was I going to stand up on that stage!"
From a memory of Epsom contributed by John Forder to The Francis Frith Collection website