One of the old Picture tents at Boston May Fair.
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Picture booths at the Fair.
Years ago, before there were any fixed cinemas in the town, some of the showmen had huge marquees in which very early comic strips were shown. There were long wooden bench seats and as many as possible got squashed into the tent.
Admission was 2d and 3d, according to which part of the tent you went. The films would be laughed at now but were a new novelty then, they often used to break and then there were minutes of waiting before they were joined up. When fixed cinemas came to the town and showed more modern films these shows passed out. There was another attraction besides the film strips, there were usually two of these shows - Tubys, on the Green and Farrars in the Market Place, and they both had some dancing girls on the platform in front of the large organ which generally played rolled classical music, which was really very good to listen to, as there were no orchestras to listen to in those distant days. In due course the highlight appeared - Orpheus in the Underworld, and the girls danced the can-can, the nearest approach to the Follies Bergere which ever reached Boston.