Movie night at The Rat House

By Shane Wilson
Not sure what the date was or what even the month was but I do know for sure that the year was 1994. I was sitting on the stair way that led up to the projectionists booth at the Rat House, and I as did everyone else in the Rat House held there breath as John Travolta held that massive syringe that contained adrenaline that was about to be plunged into Uma Thurman’s chest as she overdosed on heroin. The Rat House that night was packed! Monday night at the Rats was an institution. I first started going there at about age 14 to watch movies but only on the promise to mum that all my homework was done and if she had spare change she would give me enough for a schooner of Coke or lemonade but as we got older and left school (or maybe while we were still at school) those schooners of Coke turned into schooners of VB to wash down the chicken schnitzel and chips and gravy from the bistro before the movie started. The first movie I saw there was in 1985, Nat Young’s History of Australian Surfing, I was 12 but my neighbour and hero Brett Foster took me over to watch it. The hoots and screams were deafening when the bit with Cheyne Horan winning at Bells Beach came on. Before the pokies went in you could play pool on the big full sized snooker table in the back room. Towards the end of its run the movie night got so popular that the only place to get a seat was on the stairs that led up to the projectionist booth. But like most other fun things in Bondi it has gone, made way for the “beautiful people” who love to take photos of themselves drinking boutique beers with Bondi in the background.

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