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The Back Row of the Cinema

backrowPrivacy, to almost any degree, was something of a rare commodity for a significant percentage of people living in Salford. It could make life difficult for all ages, particularly for younger people wanting to explore their first tentative steps toward more permanent relationships.

'The Back Row of the Cinema' might, without pushing the concept too far, be regarded as having been almost a public service. A tip-seat for two. Semi-darkness. Warm, if at that time, a smoke filled atmosphere. Even there the chances of being spotted by some inquisitive neighbour was a calculated risk, but ultimately a chance worth taking.

My regular cinema was 'The Tower' on Great Clowes Street. It was a place where I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that girls were just as keen as physical proximity as myself. Without such havens, the alternative was to aimlessly wander the streets. How things have changed. There is now little or no reticence about public displays of affection. No discernible disapproval. Much better now, than those repressive days, prior to the radical changes and liberation that evolved throughout the nineteen sixties.