I found out this morning, that Piccadilly Cinemas in Perth had closed down. I was sad, as I had some good memories of going to the worst ever movies there.
In around 1997-1998, my friend and I used to skip school and use our lunch money to go to the movies. Sometimes though, we actually needed to eat. Being the enterprising type, we simply snuck in to watch. We further saved money by getting bulk candy from Target (Ah, the good old days) and we’d do what everyone else did, but never admitted to; we’d put the fancy candy at the bottom of the cup and just line the top with gummy worms, so it would only cost $2 instead of $5.
One indelible memory is of sneaking in to see Species Two (Classic) and having the place catch fire, right at the part where the astronaut guy is having a threesome. Seriously, the screen stopped, and the projector just burst into flames. You could hear the guy in the little room start screaming. The best part was, other than the flames and smoke inhalation, that we were all handed a voucher for next time. Ooh, a legit ticket!
But the one that takes the cake is My Giant. A terrible story of carnie giants and death or something, made even worse by Billy Crystal. We boldly rocked up, only to see that the only person watching was the ticket seller from upstairs. He smiled at us, and in shock, we simply sat down and watched the movie, despite it being bleedingly obvious that we’d just stolen movie fun time. At the end of the movie, the guy went and turned the lights on and said ‘Enjoy the movies, ladies?’ We giggled and took off.
Fast forward to today. I find out that the place is closed, and like a good child of technology. I Google it. The picture of the man who lost quite a bit of moola trying to run the place, Cyril, wasn’t the familiar weirdo that we’d encountered. He only bought it in 2005. From Dennis McKenna. A paedophile. The guy we’d watched countless movies in the presence of, and that Giant one, just a few seats away. No wonder he didn’t care if we paid or not. He was probably just happy to sit near young blood in the dark, watching things like My Giant and Species Two. Too far?