Demolition of Astor cinema: End of an era

Demolition of Astor cinema: End of an era

Jul 31, 2017 News, http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....inema-end-of-an-era/

When I read last week that Astor cinema will follow its sister theatre and neighbour on Waterloo Street, the Globe and be demolished, a tsunami of memories flooded the floors of my mind. There were five popular cinemas in the heart of downtown Georgetown at the time I was growing up in Wortmanville, South Georgetown – Strand Deluxe at Wellington and Charlotte Streets (the building is still there but is now occupied by a Brazilian church); Metropole at Robb and Wellington Streets; Plaza on Camp Street and Astor and Globe. I wouldn’t say Empire was in the heart of the city though it was on Middle Street closer to East Street rather than Camp Street. All are now gone. Long gone.

For some inscrutable reason, Astor and Globe were the favoured ones for the ordinary folks in South Georgetown. The section where the poorer classes went was referred to as ‘pit.’ On any day, no matter what movie was playing, the ‘pit’ of Astor and Globe would be filled. Strand Deluxe and Plaza were more often patronized by the folks from outside of Georgetown. Metropole always had a more diverse set of patrons.

It was Globe that had a contract with Vivian Lee (the major recorder producer of Robb and King Streets) to host Johnny Braff, Guyana’s singing sensation of the late sixties and early seventies. I rather suspect that the owners of Plaza and Strand would not have wanted to accommodate the type of patrons that would have flocked to Braff’s shows, for fear of damage to property because of crowd behaviour. And it did happen. At one of Braff’s performances, the door to the entrance to ‘pit’ was torn off in the mad rush. I saw Johnny Braff twice at the Globe and it breaks my heart to see the bad hand fate has dealt him in the 21st century. We name streets after cricketers but nothing after Braff who swept this country off its feet fifty years ago. This country has an ugly conscience. I hope we pay due recognition to Dave Martins, who is very much alive, swinging and singing.

Ask any South Georgetown unemployed about how he spent his nights and he would tell you; the cinemas were his life line. There are just too many memories of the cinemas to even fill one book length manuscript. My memories of Astor will live forever. It was at that cinema my daughter had her last movie outing with both parents together. The movie was DEEP RISING about monsters at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean that eat up all the passengers of a luxury cruise ship. I would not keep such an item in my DVD collection but I do have it to remind me of the last time I visited the cinema with my kid. She has grown up and never went back to the cinema with me.

It was at the Plaza that I proposed to my wife. The time was Old Year’s Night in 1978. We went to see THE MASTER GUNFIGHTER about the massacre of Indians after the Americans took California from Mexico. We got married one month, one week after. Ask my wife what is her favourite movie and she would tell you number one is the MASTER GUNFIGHTER because of that night at the Plaza and KING OF THE GYPSIES, the first movie we saw after we began dating. It was shown at the Astor. Astor Cinemas reminds me of Boyo Ramsaroop, who saved me from a wasted life in Wortmanville. He insisted I come with him to Astor to see ROMEO AND JULIET.

One of the things I will always remember as a Wortmanville boy on D’Urban Street going to the cinemas in the night was the channa shop at D’Urban and Camp Streets directly opposite the now infamous Camp Street prison. My friends and I always take the same route – west on D’Urban, north into Camp. There was where “channa man” was. Huge basins of steaming channa. You look, you want, but you can’t buy because all you had was the ticket money for PIT. The tearing down of Astor marks the final chapter of a certain lovely period in the life of Georgetown.

Frederick Kissoon

Demolition of Astor cinema: End of an era

Jul 31, 2017 News, http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....inema-end-of-an-era/

One of the things I will always remember as a Wortmanville boy on D’Urban Street going to the cinemas in the night was the channa shop at D’Urban and Camp Streets directly opposite the now infamous Camp Street prison. My friends and I always take the same route – west on D’Urban, north into Camp. There was where “channa man” was. Huge basins of steaming channa. You look, you want, but you can’t buy because all you had was the ticket money for PIT. The tearing down of Astor marks the final chapter of a certain lovely period in the life of Georgetown.

Frederick Kissoon

"Channa man", well known person and shop.

Tell me about it. I love the late shows at 8 PM or the 11 PM advance shows. I rememer going to JAWS 11 PM show with a Binnie, she had to wait till marnin to enter her house so we spend the night at a Cricket ground on the East Coast.

Nehru posted:

Tell me about it. I love the late shows at 8 PM or the 11 PM advance shows. I rememer going to JAWS 11 PM show with a Binnie, she had to wait till marnin to enter her house so we spend the night at a Cricket ground on the East Coast

She used the bat and you were the ball ??  

Amral posted:

DG how come we dont see you talking about any chicks you hustle back home. What happen man goat bite you

I hustled chicks while in Guyana and at university studies in Europe.

Many are well established in Guyana and other parts of the world.

I did mention that while in Europe I frequented Austria to meet a young lady while we attended the opera and other activities.

"My wings got clipped" when I got married in Guyana and she then had me in the narrow and straight path.

Hopefully my comments on GNI will leave no doubt that I love lots of women. I had no problems kissing up girls in the cinemas or feeling up them bubbies.  However, I once went with a girl and I couldn't wait for the movie to finish. As soon as the shorts started, she wanted to climb on me hugging and kissing. Even for me, that was way too much. Very unfortunate since she was from one of those sawmilling family. I could have milked her family money but my worry was that she wanted me to milk her. 

ksazma posted:

Hopefully my comments on GNI will leave no doubt that I love lots of women. I had no problems kissing up girls in the cinemas or feeling up them bubbies.  However, I once went with a girl and I couldn't wait for the movie to finish. As soon as the shorts started, she wanted to climb on me hugging and kissing. Even for me, that was way too much. Very unfortunate since she was from one of those sawmilling family. I could have milked her family money but my worry was that she wanted me to milk her. 

she had a sex change she use to be a man 

warrior posted:
ksazma posted:

Hopefully my comments on GNI will leave no doubt that I love lots of women. I had no problems kissing up girls in the cinemas or feeling up them bubbies.  However, I once went with a girl and I couldn't wait for the movie to finish. As soon as the shorts started, she wanted to climb on me hugging and kissing. Even for me, that was way too much. Very unfortunate since she was from one of those sawmilling family. I could have milked her family money but my worry was that she wanted me to milk her. 

she had a sex change she use to be a man 

Even better that the movie finished when it did. 

one time i went to see a indian movie at Astor and this collie bai was there with a fat gold chain i see some black guys peeping him so i tell him take off your chain them bais will snatch it  he watch me and suck his teeth about 5 mins after i hear he screaming and some black guys running through globe yard he had a chain

warrior posted:

one time i went to see a indian movie at Astor and this collie bai was there with a fat gold chain i see some black guys peeping him so i tell him take off your chain them bais will snatch it  he watch me and suck his teeth about 5 mins after i hear he screaming and some black guys running through globe yard he had a chain

Warria bai, Caribj is not going to like your story hea. 

ksazma posted:
warrior posted:

one time i went to see a indian movie at Astor and this collie bai was there with a fat gold chain i see some black guys peeping him so i tell him take off your chain them bais will snatch it  he watch me and suck his teeth about 5 mins after i hear he screaming and some black guys running through globe yard he had a chain

Warria bai, Caribj is not going to like your story hea. 

i did not feel sorry for him i tell him i use to hang around there so i know them 

Nehru posted:

Tell me about it. I love the late shows at 8 PM or the 11 PM advance shows. I rememer going to JAWS 11 PM show with a Binnie, she had to wait till marnin to enter her house so we spend the night at a Cricket ground on the East Coast.

you? out of ur house taking in a show at 8 pm in town? impossible!! u know damn well when the sun goes down,  u clowns in Annandale got to batten down the hatxhes.

Sheik101 posted:
Nehru posted:

Tell me about it. I love the late shows at 8 PM or the 11 PM advance shows. I rememer going to JAWS 11 PM show with a Binnie, she had to wait till marnin to enter her house so we spend the night at a Cricket ground on the East Coast.

you? out of ur house taking in a show at 8 pm in town? impossible!! u know damn well when the sun goes down,  u clowns in Annandale got to batten down the hatxhes.

  So Nehru comes here with all this fat talk but is really a mouse?    

ksazma posted:

I may have been to Astor twice. Once to see The Ten Commandments and the other time to see I'll Die for Mama. I remember one guy remarking out loud "coolie gyal gat smooth legs" during this scene.

Image result for deewaar

These 2 were carrying on in real life. She had it all, but power got to her head and she was part of the Bollywood hedonistic culture. Sadly, she became a bloated recluse, was shunned by the film industry, and died in 2005.  

ksazma posted:
warrior posted:
ksazma posted:

The coolie bai was probably from Berbice. 

i know it was not skeltonman because he never leave his village 

The man left Guyana since 1970 bai. 

Skeldon man too smart. He always had a hunch that black people will rob you of anything they can take off of you. Even your clothes including "you buckta". Skeldon was at times brighter than New Amsterdam and Rose Hall. Hey, I went to Black Bush. Was very peaceful then. Why go where you might end up running home naked?

It was indeed saddening to see how her life ended Leonora. At the time when I was coming of age Parveen was what sexy should look like. She and Zeenat covered that department perfectly. To now Zeenat has carried herself gracefully. Zeenat once stated in Stardust that if bees can suck so should people.

ksazma posted:

It was indeed saddening to see how her life ended Leonora. At the time when I was coming of age Parveen was what sexy should look like. She and Zeenat covered that department perfectly. To now Zeenat has carried herself gracefully. Zeenat once stated in Stardust that if bees can suck so should people.

The Bollywood moguls used and abused them.

Leonora posted:
ksazma posted:

It was indeed saddening to see how her life ended Leonora. At the time when I was coming of age Parveen was what sexy should look like. She and Zeenat covered that department perfectly. To now Zeenat has carried herself gracefully. Zeenat once stated in Stardust that if bees can suck so should people.

The Bollywood moguls used and abused them.

I agree. Unfortunately this happens too many places and times.

Prince posted:

Which cinema is located close to Beharry's, Strand or Globe? There was accounting school near by. I tend to forget the streets name of where the cinemas are located. I believe Globe is adjacent to Astor cinema. (?)

Strand.

The owner of Strand also had Plaza,i worked there for a short while when i was 18 yrs old.

Movie houses in Guyana were dirty and without AC. Imagine watching a 1 o'clock movie on hot day at Plaza or Empire. You can easily get dizzy and dehydrated with the lack of AC and fans that did not work properly.  Pit was the place for most of you. I don't know how you made out with your bini in such a dirty and hot place where the dregs of Guyanese society would congregate and cuss to the high heavens.  So much for memories of the great cinemas of Guyana. 

Billy Ram Balgobin posted:

Movie houses in Guyana were dirty and without AC. Imagine watching a 1 o'clock movie on hot day at Plaza or Empire. You can easily get dizzy and dehydrated with the lack of AC and fans that did not work properly.  Pit was the place for most of you. I don't know how you made out with your bini in such a dirty and hot place where the dregs of Guyanese society would congregate and cuss to the high heavens.  So much for memories of the great cinemas of Guyana. 

you sound like a real little girl

I had my connections at Liberty. The guys used to take out the seats that I was interested in an put them in the projector room. Then when I get there, I would just go get them.

The craziest crowds were on a Sunday Amitabh movie. They used to have horse police to control the crowds. If you are lucky to make it through the door, you would need to take off your shirt and wring it dry. After I got connections at Liberty, I used to just go through a side door while the commoners push through the horse police.  

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