2 Down, 8 Across

3 Down, 5 Across

5pm Friday in the business district of London is always busy. Thousands of people rushing away from the big smoke and heading towards the weekend so they can forget their rat life ways.

It’s a stressful time trying to get the tube and fighting your way through frustrated behaviours.

And through all this congestion a simple moment of calm she sits in full view whilst staying hidden.

Maybe she had time to kill.
Maybe she had nowhere to go.
Maybe waiting for the next bus, just to get a seat.

No-one cared to ask.

Or maybe, 2 Down, 8 Across was just too much of a challenge to give up now.
Yashica 635. Kodak Portra 400 ASA. 125/sec F8.

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Chester Swing

Chester Swing, Unamused Shopper

I love the age old tradition of street performers. There is something magical about a person making a living entering you whilst you shop.

I went to Chester to pick up a few items. (If you are unfamiliar with the city. It dates back to Roman times and still has the outer walls standing. It was developed in the Tudor times and the city has been almost untouched since. It is a fantastic historical wonderland and well worth a visit).

I have recently been shooting street only on film with my Yashica 635 TLR. It’s an amazing camera that seems to attract a lot of attention. It’s been fun working out how to shoot quickly and silently.

Getting back to the image. As I walked through the busy streets there was the sound of 1920’s Jazz floating through the crowds that drew me in. A women in her 20’s, dressed in period fashion was delighting the passers by with her Charleston.

She captured the moment brilliantly and keep me in gaze for two or three songs.

I took the opportunity to kneel down and wait for her to pass my viewfinder before passing her hand with silver coin and exchanging our love for all thing vintage.

Her performance made my day and I know (because she told me) being photographed by my camera made hers.

Turn any street in old England and town and you will find interesting people eager to entertain.

Salford (Rex) Cinema & a Pin Hole Kodak

Salford Cinema

Beginning life as a church (1864) The church closed and the building was radically altered and a cinema license was obtained in 1912.

The exterior is quite ornate for such a small cinema with the front and part of the side tiled in decorative terracotta tiling with ornate round windows with carved laurel leaves and swags. There is an ornate balustrade along the top with a cupola temple structure above a corner entrance. The words “Salford Cinema” are carved on a half circle ornate pedement at the middle top of the frontage.

The cinema changed hands in 1921 and again in 1937 when the name was changed to the Rex Cinema (even though “Salford Cinema” was clearly carved in the pediment.

The cinema suffered from the advent of television and the slum clearances which had taken most of the customers form the area. The Rex Cinema closed as a cinema in 1958 and lay empty for some time until 1967 when it opened as a bingo hall.

The opening ceremony was performed by actress “Violet Carson” better known as “Ena Sharples” from the soap opera “Coronation Street” who was also a one-time cinema pianist in the silent days.

The bingo stopped in 1985 and the building has come full circle and reopened as the New Harvest Christian Fellowship, a Gospel Church. The Rex has been designated as a Grade II Listed building.
I came across this cinema whilst driving around trying to find a car park for the hotel we was staying at a year ago. Being on a cross road it popped out and the Salford Sign had me hooked. I wanted to capture the building in a retro form and decided to come back with a vintage camera. Shooting through an inch of glass that is reflecting upside down is hard work yet very rewarding. I love how this old camera still takes pin sharp pin hole shots even to this day. Taken using a 1924 Kodak Brownie and Fomapan 100 ASA 120mm Film.