Friday 20 April 2018

How Roy Rogers rescued a little cowboy who didn't feel at home on the range

The magic of cinema and a Western hero brought me a boyhood taste of adventure, writes Declan Collinge

Happy trails: A poster for the Roy Rogers/ Dale Evans adventure of 1950 ‘Bells of Coronado’
Happy trails: A poster for the Roy Rogers/ Dale Evans adventure of 1950 ‘Bells of Coronado’

Declan Collinge

The Apollo Cinema, Walkinstown, Dublin, opened its doors in the early 1950s. It was a welcome development for the young ''baby boomer'' couples and their countless children who lived in the sprawling estates nearby. The streets here were named after musicians or composers as in Field Avenue, Balfe Road, etc.

The Saturday matinee was a chaotic affair with long queues of children thronging the path as far back as O'Brien's shop and being directed into the cinema to the ticket booth to pay their sixpence by an irate baldy usher. Often children were crammed in two in a seat if the numbers outside the cinema grew too large.

As a six-year-old, accompanied to the matinee by my 10-year-old sister, we were unceremoniously prevailed upon by a young usher to "push up dere will yez, two in a seat".

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