In a burst of colour, eight children of various ages happily stream out of a suburban house and pile (miraculously) into a car waiting outside. The film then cuts to the children getting out of the other side of the car and running across the street. An exterior of a Hoyts cinema reveals their destination, and a title card with the double bill matinee Pack up your troubles indicates the 2pm screening.
On entering the cinema, the footage switches to black and white, which reveals the rows of chairs, and the stage in the front. The cinema screen fills with the picture. We then cut to inside the projection booth and watch the projectionists hard at work. From inside the projection booth, we can see the screen.
Outside the cinema the children climb back into the car. A point-of-view shot of the car driving down the street shows it pass by a tram down a suburban street. The car pulls up before cutting to the final shot of the children (almost eighteen of them now) spilling from the car, back home after their days outing.
This affectionate sequence has been shot and edited together beautifully. Dyer’s children and their friends happily play to the camera, adding the comic bookends to the sequence where they pile unselfconsciously in and out of the family car.
The scenes in the bio box (or projection booth) indicate Dyer’s interest in the behind-the-scenes workings of the cinema and he must have arranged with the theatre to be able to film inside it. The scenes of the projectionists winding the films, lacing up the projectors and the view of the screen from the projection booth are valuable because they provide an insight into the technical workings of an experience which is now taken for granted – seeing a movie.
The matinee screening that the children go to see included the feature-length English wartime comedy Pack up your troubles, made in 1940.