‘We Come Along on Saturday Morning.’

‘We Come Along on Saturday Morning.’

Or as we used to sing at the tops of our voices:

‘We come along on Saturday morning
Greeting everybody with a smile.
We come along on Saturday morning
Knowing it’s well worth while.

As members of The Odeon Club we all intend to be
Good citizens when we grow up and Champions of the Free!

We come along on Saturday morning
Greeting everybody with a smile.
Smile!
Smile!!
Greeting everybody with a smile.

And then settle down to a morning of combined cowboys and horseplay and tribal score-settling. The crew from Copperworks and New Dock always vastly out-muscled anything we could produce. And Felinfoel was itself a divided force anyway, so there was no real hope but camouflage for the few of us who used to make the trip from Llethri Road.

After the anthem of the Odeon Saturday Cinema club, the programme began. Cartoons, comedy short, serial, feature. Popeye, Woody Woodpecker or Loony Tunes; Three Stooges, Laurel & Hardy; Roy Rogers, Gene Autrey or Buck Rogers; British or Canadian Film Foundation lack and white or Disney colour melodrama. Often involving a dog. Everything flickering through a storm of chatter and fighting and shouts at the movie and at opponents above, behind and in front, all bombarding each other with missiles of some kind, especially in ‘the talking’. ‘What was the picture like?’ –  ‘All talking..’.
We survived. And if we were careful, we could hide until the first matinee started, watch it for free, and stagger out into the mid-afternoon blinking like owls.
The Odeon in Llanelli was the grandest of the five cinemas still operating at the time: The Regal, Palace, Hippodrome (‘Haggers’) and The Llanelly Cinema had all closed by the mid ’70’s, but I haunted them all.

The greatest binge of all was the Hippodrome’s cheap summer season of 1962. Someone at ‘Hagger’s’ had got a bulk deal and was putting on four double bills a week, changing on Wednesdays. Including my regular Saturday movie, I must has seen over twenty movies in four weeks, including William Castle’s 1960 cult 3D micro-classic ‘13 Ghosts’, with an introduction by a solemn professor behind a desk who instructed us how to use the 3D specs to see ghosts in dark rooms, The results from our primitive, unlit primary school toilets were inconclusive.

From ‘The Man Who Lived In A Haystack.

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