Entertainment + Leisure | 1950 | Sound | B/W
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A day in the life of Dreamland amusement park or pleasure beach in Margate, Kent 1950's
Great images of the fairground, amusement arcades, slot machines, side stalls and other attractions. Nice cafeteria sequence.
Close up of the front of a large black car showing front headlights and chrome radiator grill, being polished, registration KXL699. Wider shot reveals chauffeur wearing cap, wellington boots and waistcoat with his sleeves rolled up shining the bonnet. Side view of bonnet shows Bentley radiator cap. Chauffeur buffs the wheel arch, pan to the side reveals passers-by walking past the yard. Casually dressed (working class) men, women and children walk by. They walk down a ramp towards the brick built entrance of the amusement park.
Recorded, manufactured laughter can be heard on the soundtrack. People walk past and gaze into a doorway. A little boy stands at one side with his mouth open. An advertising sign - "See here a representation of the electric chair in which the atom spy Rosenberg was executed". Tilt up reveals a mechanical laughing policeman shaking backwards and forwards behind bars. A mannequin wearing a face mask sits in an electric chair mock-up. Others dressed in uniform represent prison guards. A moving puppet is dressed as a priest reading the last rites. Children look on solemnly. A puppet pulls the lever on the electric chair. The head of the mannequin in the chair falls to one side.
Another display animated by life-size models - "death by a thousand cuts". A scene of torture with unrealistic models stabbing a naked mannequin which is hung upside down. People look at the spectacle through the bars. A dummy is tortured by being rotated on a turning wheel which it is tied to. A girl watches. More torture scenes of a mannequin being lowered into some sort of liquid. Children look on. Models light a fire beneath Joan of Arc. Further shots of unrealistic mannequins in various guises.
A series of single decker coaches drives towards and past the camera into the car park. A group of girls, walking arm in arm and kicking their legs, come away from the coaches. Close up of a man's hand making a selection on a jukebox. A record slides out of its stack and is placed on the revolving turntable. Shots of passenger coaches in the car park. Crowds walk through the amusement park. Three girls wear straw sombrero hats. A dirty old man wearing a tartan hat has a novelty doll of a woman which flashes her bosom when he squeezes her hips. Further crowds walking - many people wear party hats. Balloon art (twisted into people and hat shapes) is on display, with phrases such as "drunk again" written on them. People continue to walk past souvenir shops and the like. A man speaks into a microphone to drum up passing trade for a freak show. Next to him a man holds burning torch and performs a fire swallowing trick. More people walk past. Shot of a laughing sailor moving around. People walk past the entrance to a ride which has a large face on it (some sort of horror ride?).
Girls stand in a group singing along to music. View of the juke box with a record turning. The girls stand together swaying to the music. Shots of various "white knuckle" fairground rides including waltzer and big wheel or ferris wheel. View of people's feet as they walk. Rubbish litters the floor. Another fairground worker drums up trade for the motorcycle display - "wall of death" - team. A motorcyclist stands next to his bike. People look up as they pass.
A monkey is tethered to a wall. A sign reads "Warning you touch this monkey at your own risk". A group of people stand, in the foreground a girl eats something. Shot of a solemn looking man (zookeeper? - he has some sort of epaulettes). In a cage a fox is curled up in a corner. It lifts its head to look at the camera. A kangaroo sits in a corner on its hind legs. A snow dog or husky sits with his nose between the bars of his cage. View of rather large bottoms as a boy and his parents lean over a bar to pet the dog on the other side. A large cat (cheetah or leopard) sits behind bars. A man and woman in headscarf talk to each other as they look. A small girl looks through a chain link fence. A pair of monkeys sit huddled together while a third grooms them. A female lion paces up and down behind vertical bars past a small boy. Two small boys gaze up - one holds his mother's hand. The laughing sailor sits rocking in his booth. He holds a plastic Union Flag.
A young boy watches. An animated model portrays a hanging. A woman reaches out as a man passes by to offer him rings for the hoopla. Images of other fairground stalls where prizes can be won, including darts. Children and adults lean on the side of the stalls looking over. Nice "roll up, roll up" type images. People sit at desks playing bingo. They place small discs over the numbers on the boards in front if them. Sound track has nice bingo calling track. More "roll up, roll up" images with fairground workers shouting to the crowds. A toddler sits in a pushchair. More feet shots with litter on the floor. Row of voluptuous bottoms wearing floral dresses and trousers with braces perched on bingo stools. Close of caller's bingoboard with balls rolling into vacant numbers. Men, women and children continue to play bingo, smoke and pick their noses. Man hands out betting slips to punters. View of an illuminated sign randomly flashing to light up football team names. Close up dockets being handed out and money collected. Further illuminated football team names. Price maked - "only 6d". "Greyhound Stadium" penny slot machine, "Cricketers", "The Little Stockbroker" - close ups of the machines being played. Assorted images of people - young and old - gambling on the arcade games. Good close ups of faces and the machines from all angles. "Playball" games shoot metal balls around the machines. A grab or claw machine is operated as a prize is attempted to be won. Close up of man wearing tie, and then the claw grabbing at a glass ashtray, then a child and the claw trynig to close on some sweets(?) but only getting polystyrene stuffing instead. Another machine has potential prizes revolving on a turntable, while a woman operates an arm which moves across in an attempt to knock a prize off.
People sit on a bench outside - an old man in the foreground eats. A woman wearing black and a hat sits. In a cafeteria a group of suited men sit around a table smoking and drinking cups of tea (from regulation white tacky café cups). Women behind a counter serve numbers of cups of tea from an urn onto trays. Customers form a rather glum looking queue. Great shots of vats of appetising looking baked beans and peas being ladled onto plates. People sit at tables and tuck in to their food. Chips and sausages are put onto a plate using serving tongs. A family, including a small blond child, sit at a table and eat. Customers are served over a counter, on the front of which are huge signs to let them know what the food behind is - "sausages", "onions" - just in case they're not able to work it out purely by sight. Lads munch on sandwiches(?), a woman drinks from a cup - more tea drinking. A child's mother puts her cigarette in her mouth so her hands are free to help the child. More tea drinking. Image of a plate of finished food.
Evening. Shot of a man pulling a swith to put on the illuminations. A staue holds a light aloft. Neon signs - "Dreamland" - are illuminated. An Egyptianesque statue. Close up of tapping foot. Mannequins sway, playing musical instrumnets - violin, saxophone, trumper, accordian. A sign - "The dreams I dream are yours to see over there in reality" - flashes. An animated Prince Charming kisses (well it's more of a head butt really) a Sleeping Beauty (I wouldn't wake up if I were her). People walk past white Romanesque statues standing out in the dark. A woman points. Shots of the fairground illuminated at night - rides seen, point of view from moving ride high over the park.
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