Rising cost of going out

A point of interest: in 1927, my dad of 19 met my mum of 17. On their first date, he took her to the cinema, a building with a corrugated tin roof known locally as the ‘flea pit’.

The film showing was Harold Lloyd. When it rained on the tin roof, everyone cheered because they couldn’t hear the fat lady playing the piano. They had to queue to get in.

The cost: bag of aniseed balls, one penny. Cinema tickets, six pence. Ice creams, four pence. Fish and chip supper, one shilling. Total, 1s 11d (about 10 new pence). This worked out to about three per cent of his weekly income.

In 1957, at 17, I met my wife, also 17. Our first date to the cinema. The film was Joan Collins. We had to queue to get in.

The cost: a big box of Paynes’ Poppets, one shilling and six pence. Cinema tickets, three shillings and six pence (upstairs, back row for a kiss and a cuddle). Ice creams, six pence. Fish and chip supper, three shillings. Total cost, 8s 6d (about 45 new pence).

This worked out around nine per cent of my weekly income. In 2013, I took my wife to the cinema. The film: Tom Cruise. Oblivion.

The cost: two packets of sweets, £4. Cinema tickets, £12. Ice creams, £4. Fish and chip supper, £7. Total cost, £27. Around 22 per cent of my weekly income.

There were eight patrons watching the film. It cost more to pay the staff than it took at the box office. This is not a complaint, just a light hearted look at life, but there is a lesson to be learned here.

Robin Reeves

Station Road

Worthing