When we went to the movies 40 years ago, it seemed as if we had to be protected from each other - if not from the content.
In 1967 the British film Ulysses was delivered to the Censor Mr D.C. McIntosh. He took to it in ways which made headlines overseas.
'Restricted to persons aged eighteen years of age and over in segregated audiences' was his verdict.
Segregated audiences? Were Kiwis that randy they'd leap over rows in communal lust? Overseas friends joked. Bosoms and bad language were the standard pre-occupations of censors but this was extreme. McIntosh claimed at the time that he “wouldn't have liked any of my women folk to been at the men's session and I'm sure they wouldn't have enjoyed it either.”
Maybe - maybe not. Aucklander Susan Fieldes wrote to kiwiboomers to say she remembered the Joyce movie well.
"I was working in Queen Street at the time and in the lunch time I'd sometimes walk up Wellesley Street… that theatre was where the library now is... and the queues... snaking out the theatre and down the road... (in the middle of the day!...I wonder how many were throwing 'sickies'?)"
In the end, as somebody joked, it was one screening for James - and another for Joyce…