Clips from a Life

Source: Denis Norden, Clips from a Life (London: Fourth Estate, 2008), p. 17

Text: In the years before the Clear Air Act, fog could be a cinema-going hazard. On the Hyam Brothers’ circuit, whenever there was a particularly dense one, a commissionaire would go up and down the queue shouting, ‘Owing to the fog penetrating the hall, the clearness of the picture cannot be guaranteed.’

This was not a universally followed procedure. Indeed, a cinema in Norwood, known locally as ‘Ikey’s Bug Hole’, would put out a placard proclaiming, ‘It’s clearer inside.’

Comment Denis Norden (born 1922), later a humourous writer for radio and television, was a cinema manager in the late 1930s. The Clean Air Act was passed in 1956.