I remember one round the corner from us in the 70s, I would go round with my older brother and he'd let me put the 2p coins in so he could phone his girlfriend...had to get out of the box when the chat started, though! :)
Many years later, in 1989, I remember walking along the same street and, to my horror, saw a crane lorry parked by the old red phone box, with one of those horrible open silver ones on the bed all wrapped in plastic. I've since moved to the States, and went back to visit recently...there isn't even a phone box there now.
And that smell...yes! There's an 'English' pub here in Sacramento, California with one, and it has that signature smell inside!