Going To The Pictures

Reels would sometimes break down or get mixed up

Films came to the cinema on large reels which would make up parts of the film  ready to be projected onto the screen. The reels would have to be put through the projection machines and match up at the point where the reel changed.

The films were screened from several large film reels through projection machines which would sometimes be manned by more than one projectionist to ensure a smooth change of reel.  The film reels would be on a circuit and would be passed onto other cinemas. Sometimes the film reels in the cinema  would break, if this happened at a children’s matinee show there would be screams and shouts from the excitable audience wanting to see the film, and a frantic dash from the projectionist trying to splice and project the broken film to continue with the show.

Occasionally film reels would get mixed up to, below is Norma’s memory of one such time when the cowboys and the pirates got mixed within the film show.