Early interst in cinema (Mike Williams)

Mike Williams interviewed by Richard Wallace

Projectionist Mike Williams describes his early experiences of cinema-going as a child, his developing fascination with cinemas and the atmosphere and smell of cinemas.

Clip

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My mother was a cinema fanatic and so Tuesday afternoons and Thursday afternoons my mother used to take me to the cinema. She was really keen on the cinema, I mean I was dragged to see so many terrible films and she used to get really annoyed with me because I used to sit or I used to kneel on the seat and look at the projection box in the cinema throughout the film. It fascinated me. Flickering lights appearing on the screen, the lights in the smoke, ‘cause smoking was pretty heavy in those days, and I just loved the atmosphere in the cinema. It just gelled with me, it was lovely. The smell of the cinema is completely … I don’t think most people recognise the smell of a cinema but I can even, even now recollect the smell of the cinema. A mix of disinfectant, ice cream, stale ice cream in cartons, you could always smell it. I used to love it.

Title

Early interst in cinema (Mike Williams)

Description

Projectionist Mike Williams describes his early experiences of cinema-going as a child, his developing fascination with cinemas and the atmosphere and smell of cinemas.

Source

Interview with Mike Williams

Publisher

The University of Warwick

Date

04/12/2015

Format

.mp3

Language

English

Type

Sound recording
interview extract

Coverage

1956-1964

Interviewer

Richard Wallace

Interviewee

Mike Williams

Date of Interview

25/08/2015

Location

Cardiff

Transcription

My mother was a cinema fanatic and so Tuesday afternoons and Thursday afternoons my mother used to take me to the cinema. She was really keen on the cinema, I mean I was dragged to see so many terrible films and she used to get really annoyed with me because I used to sit or I used to kneel on the seat and look at the projection box in the cinema throughout the film. It fascinated me. Flickering lights appearing on the screen, the lights in the smoke, ‘cause smoking was pretty heavy in those days, and I just loved the atmosphere in the cinema. It just gelled with me, it was lovely. The smell of the cinema is completely … I don’t think most people recognise the smell of a cinema but I can even, even now recollect the smell of the cinema. A mix of disinfectant, ice cream, stale ice cream in cartons, you could always smell it. I used to love it.

Original Format

One-to-one interview

Duration

00:00:53

Bit Rate/Frequency

320kbps

Time Summary

00:00:00-00:00:35: Early experiences of going to the cinema
00:00:35-00:00:53: The smell of the cinema

Cinema

ABC (Olympia) Cinema, 67 Queen Street, Cardiff

Citation

The Projection Project, “Early interst in cinema (Mike Williams),” Projection Project, accessed October 19, 2019, https://projectionproject.warwick.ac.uk/items/show/387.

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