Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Century Cinema /Market - Pitsea, Essex

Fond memories of this old flea pit near Basildon where I spent many happy hours at Saturday matinees watching old Republic serials of Batman, Captain Video, Rocketman etc. and child friendly films like Abbot & Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Childrens Film Foundation flicks and all manner of cartoons and shorts featuring The Three Stooges, Our Gang and the like back in the late 50's and early 60's.  Sadly a bingo hall now like so many others. Just round the back was the fabled Pitsea market which back then had some wonderful stalls that included Alf (The market man) who sold cheap tat and had quite a line in patter and could gather a good crowd on Saturdays to buy almost anything ( I once bought an electric egg whisk from him when I was about 12 for my Mum's birthday - she stuck to the handy fork !) Also remember the ex-juke box record stall that sold scratchy gems for a few pence  ( where are they all now?) and the comic stall for exotic American mags of super heroes and super villians.  A nice old pathe fim here that shows briefly the old market before it was demolished to make way for some space age domes and the hideous fly-over.


Alan Steed said...

I also enjoyed the Saturday Matinees and remember some of the movies we saw there - two cartoons, followed by the main movie, then a serial.

My favourite serials were: Jungle Girl, starring Francis Gifford, and Five Clues to Fortune.

I never did see the last episode of Jungle Girl, but managed to get the complete serial box set from Amazon just a few years ago, so was able to catch up!! lol

There are a couple of movie clips of both these series on YouTube.

I used to live in the white house at the top of the Hill in Bowers Gifford on the old London Road, and we used to travel into Pitsea on the #2 bus for the Saturday Morning 'Pictures'. Lots of memories!!

I also remember Alf, the Market Man. For about a year, I worked at a grocery store in the new domes - thoroughly enjoyed that experience.

Thanks for the memories.

Alan Steed
Ontario, Canada.

Wastedpapiers said...

Nice to get some feedback Alan. Yes, I managed to get hold of the Captain Video serial on DVD I enjoyed as a kid and wallowed in nostalgia. It didnt seem quite so exciting as I remember it but nice to see again! Thanks for your reminiscences!