black bart wrote:Bugger me...a cinema in ol Portsmouth...
Aye Bart. In fact, there be a story attached to that cinema. It be called...The Fall of the House of Ushers
It were a Saturday mornin' an we'd dropped anchor in Portsmouth Harbour. All the men were rushin' off to blow their money in the Benbow an' Madame Fifi's, an' I gave me cabin boy a ha'pence to take himself off to the pictures fer the afternoon.
"No Cap'n," he said. "I ain't goin' there! No-one ever goes there on an afternoon! Ye'd have to be mad to go into that picture house!"
"Why's that then lad?" I asked. "Is Portsmoutheus
"No Cap'n, it be said that more people go into the afternoon matinee than ever comes out. Charley 'Iggins, the cabin boy on the Slack Alice
, sez that 'is ship lost five men to an afternoon showin' of 'Squarehead Spongebrain'. That cinema be 'aunted or summit."
I looked at me watch. I thought I'd be letting the crowd die down a bit before I goes over to Madame Fifi's meself, so I'd got a couple o' hours t' kill. I decided to go an' 'ave a look at this cinema.
"One!" I sed, bangin' me money down on the counter. A pasty, isipid lookin' bastid handed me a ticket, an' ins I went. In the foyer, a chap in a long coat an' a peaked cap showed me up the stairs. At the top o' the stairs a young usher wench showed me into the darkened theatre.
Once inside, she shone her lamp around. I could see there were no one but me in the theatre; I went to sit down, but the usher said "No, Cap'n. Come and sit over here," an' she shone her light towards a seat in the middle o' a row. "You'll be much more comfortable there."
I'll admit that it looked like a nice seat, but I's heard o' this sort o' thing before. There were some blaggard of a barber in Fleet Street 'oo were up to summit like this. Summit to do wi' pies... I ran back to the foyer, kicked down the door to the manager's office an' found him cowerin' under 'is desk.
"Gaah!" I shouted. "Try an' make ME into a pie will ye!" I dragged him upright, an drew mw cutlass.
"No, wait! I'm not trying to make anyone into a pie!"
"Then why did that usher try an' make me sit in that one particular seat?"
"It's the best seat in the house," said the manager. "We wanted you to be comfortable."
"What did ye do wi' those five crewmen 'oo vanished?"
"Nothing, Captain! They just ran off! I heard them say that nothing could make them go back to that lousy ship!"
"Then why's yer cinema so empty? Is it coz ye's killed all o' yer customers?"
"No Captain. It's because that new multiplex shows all the best films. The big distributors don't want their films shown in a little cinema like ours. We only get to show the films that no-one else wants." He looked at the floor in embarrassment. "It's got so bad that we're showing 'Portsmoutheus' next week."
Now, this 'ere manager feller seemed like a clever enough bloke, so why was 'ee acting so stupid? It were obvious 'ow to solve 'is problem. I spelled it out to 'im and we shook 'ands on a 60% - 40% share o' the profits. Then I rounded me men up and we trained the ship's guns on the multiplex. A couple o' broadsides later, and the job were done. Funny 'ow so few people 'ave a grasp o' business matters.