I started in Glasgow, for no other reason than I had to start somewhere
Standing on the roof of Green's Playhouse
, Europe's largest cinema, an
earnest Glaswegian and I look over Glasgow. In an effort to focus on
something unique and wonderful about the the home town, he said "With
all those domes you might think it was Constantinople." (You, might, of
course, but you don't.)
Instead of insisting on a bowing acquaintance with Constantinople,
Glasgow could boast about her cinemas. For here in Glasgow is every
type - from the largest in Europe to the smallest and smelliest in the
British Isles. And in Glasgow every kind of cinema experiment is being
Green's Playhouse, for instance, has undertaken the experiment of concentrating a number of entertainments in one building.
Golf at the Cinema
|You can spend the entire day at Green's, starting with a game of golf on the roof and ending up in the cinema or ballroom.
To what extend does Glasgow respond? Do people want their amusement in layers like a club sandwich?
I talked to a woman selling vegetables at a street stall. She told me
that, instead of going to her local cinema, she came in every week with
the "bairns" to Green's, because "the bairns enjoy themselves more in a
crowd." The crowd fever is one reason at least why big cinemas will
always be popular.
I went to the Great Man himself, Mr. H. J. Green, owner of the Playhouse.
(as the Apollo, in 1980)
"Of course my cinema is a success," said Mr Green. "The bigger the
cinema the greater the success. And the reason - because people know
they can get in - no-one is wasting time by coming to my cinema because
they know there will be room for them. And there's another reason: the
big cinema will always attract because it can give better value for
money. Overhead expenses are minimised, and so we can afford to give
the best pictures, good musical interludes, at a price at which small
cinemas cannot possibly compete."
Mr Green also talked of the cinema of the future.