Outdoor Film

curtainHere’s another student memory I’ve kept from when I taught English in China over a decade ago.

With the development of science and technology, our living conditions have become more comfortable. But not all the improvement is a good thing. Maybe you will question this, so I will explain it in the following way.

My hometown is a beautiful and quiet place. It is far from the noise and pollution of the big cities. In my childhood, that is, in the 1970s, we did not have too many recreational activities. I remember our amusement only included playing cards, chess, or some other simple games.

At that time, in our small town, very few families possessed televisions. Even if someone could buy one, it could only receive one channel, the local channel. The television program is very tedious almost all the day. So when someone told us there would be a film shown, this was extremely exciting, not inferior to an earthquake.

And the children were the happiest group then in the small town. We often tried to be the first boy to get to the sports ground. The ground is the place where the film was to be shown because there was no cinema in those days. So the film was called an “outdoor film”. The screen was a white sheet strung up between the trees. We took chairs from our houses to watch it.

Before the film began, we crowded around the film projector and the operator. Often some bold boys went very near to the machine and touched it curiously. Other, shyer boys only stared at them jealously when they did that. Sometimes we would gather up to play some funny games before the showing of the film.

Once the film started, however, each parent would shout towards their children to sit in their chairs quickly. Then we, these little boys, dispersed out immediately like some scared birds. With a ray of strong light projected onto the sheet, the film began. Being little, we couldn’t understand the content of the film clearly. But we liked this kind of atmosphere, the feeling of freedom and relaxation.

 Now the modern cinema has taken the place of the outdoors film. We can sit on the luxurious and comfortable chairs and hear the different stereo music of wonderful films. But I miss the outdoor films.

I know that lost time will never come back. Goodbye! Outdoor film!