The cinema is closed now – it fell victim to the giant Dendy in the new Canberra Centre Mall.
To set the scene, the Electric Shadows Cinema was a crazy underground twin cinema complex. The theatres were ridiculously long and thin with old red vinyl seats. Someone once described it as like ‘watching a movie inside a telescope.
The theatres weren’t particularly well designed or comfortable but at least you knew where you were. Every cinema I go into now is a clone of every other. (wow, I’ve turned 28 and developed curmudgeonliness)
The quintessential Electric Shadows experience was the Late Night Screenings screenings on Friday and Saturday nights. The films started at 11pm and were nearly always cult classics.
Anyway, my favourite was The Princess Bride which was on a three monthly rotation.
Whenever the Princess Bride played the theatre was packed out. One night I sat in front of two rows taken up by a school excursion.
Everyone knew the lines, the picture quality was rubbish, but people cheered when every Westley came out with a cheesy one-liner. We all clapped and whistled when Westley and Buttercup kissed.
And everyone yelled out together,
“My name is Inigo Montoya,
You killed my Father,
Prepare to die.”
Ah, the glory days…
Anyway, If you’re feeling nostalgic, I have a copy of the Princess Bride script.
You can download it here
And here’s a little taste…
(from the duel above the Cliffs of Insanity)
I do not mean to pry, but you don’t by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?
He glances up — the question clearly baffles him.
MAN IN BLACK
Do you always begin conversations this way?
My father was slaughtered by a six- fingered man. He was a great swordmaker, my father. And when the six-fingered man appeared and requested a special sword, my father took the job. He slaved a year before he was done.
He hands his sword to the Man In Black.
MAN IN BLACK
I have never seen its equal.
CLOSE UP – INIGO.
Even now, this still brings pain.
The six-fingered man returned and demanded it, but at one-tenth his promised price. My father refused. Without a word, the six-fingered man slashed him through the heart. I loved my father, so, naturally, challenged his murderer to a duel … I failed … the six-fingered man did leave me alive with the six-fingered sword, but he gave me these.
(He toucbes his scars.)
THE MAN IN BLACK,
looking up at Inigo.
MAN IN BLACK
How old were you?
I was eleven years old. When I was strong enough, I dedicated my life to the study of fencing. So the next time we meet, I will not fail. I will go up to the six-fingered man and say, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”