I saw this photo of the old cinema in Woking and it took me straight back to my youth. Queuing outside this very building to see the latest films, Grease (3 times), Jaws (once was enough for me) and squealing as my friend Melanie threw a whole box of popcorn up in the air at the scariest moment. I can’t believe that the tickets cost very much as I doubt I, or any of my friends, received much by way of pocket money at that time. The average cinema ticket was .80p in 1977, the equivalent price today would be £3.50.
The actual cost of going to the pictures today it is a different matter, the price of a’Teen’ ticket at our local cinema is a whopping £7.80. I don’t think my 15 year old and his girlfriend would see much change out of £25.00 for a date at the cinema especially if that date included popcorn & a fizzy drink!
One of my rules for pocket money vs my money has been to ask is this a want or a need?’, I will take care of their needs but they would need to find a way to take care of their wants themselves. This worked quite well for my first two children, they are quite a bit older than my youngest and everything that they wanted felt much more achievable, they were both also lucky enough to have part time jobs from quite a young age. A trip to the cinema with a girlfriend is definitely a 'want’ but it would take my youngest nearly a month to save the money just for that one treat and there would be nothing left for anything else. Certainly not for a train or bus fare to enable true independence. Luckily mum’s taxi generally races to the rescue!
This, for me, is where the 'Tasks’ feature on the goHenry site comes in to its own. This nifty little function means that I can set tasks both big and small that, if achieved, enable me to 'top up’ on the basic pocket money amount I am giving each week and allows those 'wants’ to become more achievable. Whilst this means that, in essence, I end up breaking my own rule and funding purchases that would normally be considered 'wants’, I’m not sure how else to ensure he gets to experience all the things that I did at the same age and learn one of the most important skills in life, that of independence.
Going back to that old cinema in Woking, it was packed, especially the 'love seats’ in the back row. So many happy memories, I go to the pictures now in the new multiplex to sometimes sit with the other 8 people watching the film and wonder how on earth they survive! Perhaps a £3.50 ticket price would be a good idea.
Feel free to share your own happy childhood cinema memories with us!