Lee Boardman

The very first movie I saw at the cinema was Cinderella, and I was about 4 years old (1976). The following week, it was The Jungle Book. Those were the days when movies had a break halfway through, with somebody showing up at the front to sell you a selection of ice cream tubs. And, if you planned on smoking during the movie you needed to make sure you were sitting to the left of the screen. Because, obviously, cigarette smoke isn’t likely to travel beyond the left side of the cinema at all now, is it?

Chatham Cinema
The Chatham cinema where it all began..

Soon after, probably the biggest impact on my cinema going experience, and I guess for many others of a similar age to me, was Star Wars. I was 5 years old, and hadn’t seen anything so amazing on the big screen before. I also remember returning a few years later to enjoy a double bill of Star Wars followed by The Empire Strikes Back when that was released. I was hooked on cinema from then on.

When DVD came about, my cinema trips took a bit of a hit for a while. I was ordering region 1 DVDs from the States in large quantities and loving the fact that I was getting to see and own the latest blockbuster movies a couple of months before they were even released on UK screens. Being able to watch The Blair Witch Project on a legitimate DVD at Halloween, while the British public had to go out in the cold windy rain to see it at their local cinema, was a definite high point. Finishing the movie, and my entire family being equally disappointed at how awful it was, that was a bit of a low point. Eventually though, a multiplex opened near to me and, coupled with a reduction in release date windows between the US and UK, things began to drastically change. On day two of this new multiplex opening, I went to see Independence Day (day one was Phenomenon – so not worth mentioning really…), a blockbuster worthy of watching on the big screen rather than the small screen.

My youngest brother Nicky was a huge comic and movie fan and got a job working at that local cinema, which eventually became Cineworld. Over the years, he kept me up to date on any movie news I’d missed and would generally geek out over the phone to me, or on social media, every time a major new movie trailer was released. He managed to get me into an afternoon event with Pixar’s John Lasseter, not to mention the Iron Man 3 premiere and countless other movies/events. His intense love of film had a huge impact on me, so it was a huge loss when he sadly passed away in 2015 (please read his story at www.tooupbeatforcancer.com). It left a huge hole in mine, and many other peoples lives, and to this day I cannot watch a trailer for the next big Marvel movie without becoming emotional. He was such a huge, geeky movie and comic fan and I can’t tell you how much I miss his reactions and enthusiasm for it all.

Since then I took the plunge and signed up for a Cineworld Unlimited card, in an effort to try and enjoy as many movies as possible. Life can be tough at times, and I love being able to immerse myself in the big screen experience for a couple of hours’ pure escapism.

Don’t expect any in depth analysis or big complicated words in my reviews on here. This site is simply a hobby, an outlet for me to waffle on about my movie experiences, along with some TV experiences too. But thank you for reading all the same!