Everyman memories, posted by Mark Long, September 2021
Film of all the art forms has most probably been the greatest influence on me as an ‘artist’. This can be largely attributed to the Everyman. The whole concept of impressionistic narrative and visual poetry became available to me at a very young age. A young teenager being taken to these films from another planet by his mother. Primarily the Italian and French. The amazing period of ‘Nouvelle Vague’. Directors such as Truffaut, Resnais, Antonioni, Pasoline and so many more. Plus everywhere else in the universe.
No dubbing in those days (thank god), subtitles only. I think mum hoped it would help with my French education. That didn’t really work. Certainly helped with my sex education.
Compared to other cinemas? The only other one like it on my patch was ‘The Academy’, the West End version of the Everyman. Definitely smarter but it wasn’t ours.
A place you went with friends rather than dates. I can absolutely testify to that. I took a date to a Russian film, very well reviewed, can’t remember the title. It lasted for nearly three hours and was totally and utterly boring. I never saw her again. Lesson learnt. Swiss Cottage Odeon for that area of life. No subtitles, much bigger louder screen, comfortable seats and ice cream. Art? Truth? Inspiration? Not so much.
That little black box tucked away high up behind Heath Street was my retreat. Both my parents always had full time jobs. When I was about 14/15 Mum and I went for our Everyman visit. This time she requested to see the manager. Explained her and my father’s work situation. Asked that if I showed up for an A certificate film (accompaniment by an adult required) by myself that I be allowed in. Amazingly he said yes.
The Everyman yellow posters on the tube stations were now a vital source of information. In my memory, not to be trusted, in those days they did split weeks. Quicker turn over of choices.
The Everyman. What’s not to love about that cinema?
Later in life my intellectual horizons dimmed. My tastes descended into the slush of American drivel and I turned to cinema for comfort and reassurance.