Each time I pass the little cinema,
that became a bowling alley
that became a supermarket
that is now a block of flats,
I play back all the films
I saw there as a child.
The romance of art deco design
coupled with a floor your feet would stick to.
Those days are light years,
a mortgage, a wife and two children
away, but it’s easy to slip back
into the darkness, to watch smokers
in the seats on the left turn the air blue-grey
while Pearl and Dean sweep away reality
before leaping off into deep space
aboard the Millennium Falcon.
Arriving back from far off galaxies
we’d blink into the afternoon.
I smoked inside cinemas when my turn came,
and now it’s that, not the special effects
I saw that really blows my mind.
I went past the old cinema today;
the films couldn’t last,
bowling didn’t wow the locals,
the supermarket couldn’t compete;
but I guess everybody needs a place to sleep.