One sometimes wonders how it is that any cinemas remain open today.
In the early days of film a trip to the pictures was about more than just entertainment. Often the flickering, black and white newsreels invariably accompanied by solemn commentary in an absurd male and middle-aged BBC accent were the only means the people had through which to keep up with what was going on in the world about them.
Even as late as the 1970s Saturday Morning Pictures for the children was a reasonable enough alternative to a television service that boasted the princely total of three channels.
But in the 21st century, with multi-channel satellite and cable television and film technology that is even accessible through PCs and mobile telephones, why does anybody pay money to go to the cinema?
The answer must lie in the unique experience that is the big screen, the popcorn and ice cream and the big surround sound.
Certainly in Clapham the Picture House is thriving and is considered something of a local legend, a totem for the local and sometimes not so local community. Needless to say some concessions to modernity have been made, like everywhere else today cinema-goers that choose not to partake of tobacco no longer have to share the recycled air of those who do. But for those for whom a miniature tub of ice cream is not the refreshment of choice there is the option of taking in a glass of beer or wine from the bar. No need for the unseemly clamour during the interval that one experiences at many theatres.
Of course nothing quite goes down with a glass of wine like a full and bountiful meal, and as such a thing is as yet to be provided at the bar of the cinema or along the isles by the usherette one must wait until the film is over before rounding off the occasion by supplementing the fine wine with some fine cuisine.
Of all the restaurants close to Clapham Picture House one of the best known is the Eco Restaurant, one of the very finest Italian restaurants in Clapham. Here one can enjoy fine pizzas, pastas or any of a good variety of other options.
Indeed there is no finer place to sit back, relax and talk about the film.