It is a shame to see yet another old local cinema closing, The Safari. I remember it more as The Savoy, an outstanding entertainment venue for the Broad Green area. Imagine a young lad of 15-years-old, watching Yolton Korda's (Director) 1939 version of The Four Feathers. I saw it in the middle of an air-raid!

The announcement would flash up on the big screen that an air-raid was in progress, and the programme would continue. What with the noise of the Sudan uprising of the 1890s on screen and the real life gun-fire outside the building, it sounded like stereophonic sound.

The Savoy was a great entertainment venue and the queues in those days were unbelievable, the house full' signs were quite frequent.

I went to the Savoy (Safari) many times over the years. Even when I joined the army and was stationed at Dover I managed to get weekends off to visit Croydon cinemas.

By this time the cinema was known by the locals as the ABC (Associated British Cinema). We used to call out: are you going to the ABC tonight?

Live shows on stage became popular. A young Cilla Black appeared and also an American singer by the name of P J Proby. He put so much effort in to his singing and dancing that he split his trousers every night.

This did not go down well with a local watch committee, who condemned his performance.

The next venture was an amateur talent show. It was to be the usual evening film, Pathe News, and local advertisements - one you could not forget was Roberts for Radios, an invitation to come along to their shop and meet Mr Bryant whose face filled the screen for years.

A ballard singer, Mr Donald Peers who had his own weekly television series in the 1950's, lent his name to the talent show and although he did not appear on stage he still had a good public following.

As I had been in an Army Concert Party, I entered the contest and came second in the local finals.

A few years later the auditorium was gutted by fire, after closing at night a cigarette was to blame, and not my singing.