Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Picture Show

Memories of the Imperial and the Rosemary.

Bogie Class of 62...Hi Guys! Speaking of the dad, Forrest Bogart was the projectionist there in the ' was a little side job he had to make ends meet. He told me he had to run the movies (both silent and some talkies) nights and sometimes on the weekends. I have a telegram he received from Gloria Swanson (for those of you who are "old movie illiterate"--she's one of the more famous actresses of the time), anyway, she wrote the telegram asking that the movie be shown with her gowns in mind--she wanted her wardrobe to really stand out and somehow the projectionist had the power to make this happen. Daddy said something about a way he could "focus" on some objects and this would make that particular object draw the eye to it and away from the rest of the picture. Oh well, I'll find the telegram and maybe it'll be more explanitory--it's in an old scrapbook of my moms, but I'll send it on as soon as possible. I'm having a blast with this blog!

Dora Class of 68 (response to Butch below): I remember watching that I think channel 13 back then. I can also remember when Bonnie and Clyde was on at the theater and the black car that was the one they drove was parked outside. Does anyone remember that? It was parked on the side over by the old Planters Bank Building. You know I remember the car and can see it but wonder if someone just told me that it was the car that Bonnie and Clyde used in the thirties! Oh one more memory. I can remember Miss Evelyn taking up tickets. She had beautiful white hair and was quit petite and wore bright, red lipstick. I also remember the purple light that was around the toilet seat in the rest room. That fascinated me! LOL Must not have taken a lot to fascinate me!
Sula: OH YEAH -- the purple LIGHTED UP toilet seat! (did the guys have that too?)... I always cringed in fear that it might have some kind of radiation zapper on my butt... and I guess I never did "get it" that it was for sterilization to keep the seat just seemed so outer space...I had never seen anything like it anywhere before...and nothing since, either! I always thought if I leaned back that I would be SEARED by the lights....
Butch Ford Class of 60: The Imperial Theater. Cowboy movies on Saturday afternoon. Serials that changed each week. Rocket Man. Batman and Robin. I know there were others, but by the time there were, I was selling candy and ice cream in Ford's Food Center on Saturdays. I'm not sure I ever went to a movie at the Rosemary Theater.Later on, in high school, I would save a dollar from my meager pay for a date on Friday night. Admission was 45¢, 90¢ for two. That left 10¢ for a coke for my date. I guess it was understood that she didn't ask for pop corn or anything to eat. I remember the first Elvis movie, Love Me Tender, played at the Imperial for several days to sellout crowds. Ol' Elvis really stunk it up in his first one, didn't he.The concrete floors of that old movie house were so sticky that your loafers would actually stick to the floor. I guess years of spilled Cokes will do that ... What was the name of the young guy who sold popcorn back in the 50's & 60's? Was it Jerry Bryant? The "ticket lady"...what was her name? Miss Evelyn? Was that it? I don't think I ever knew her real name. She was a tough old...(Oh, yeah...I have to play nice). She would sneak down the aisles and leap out of the darkness with that flashlight shining in your face. Miss Evelyn didn't play!

Susie: One time in late 50's-1961 or so (grade school), Lou & I went in the back office area of the Imperial on Hill Street. Probably to see behind the screen. Either her uncle Junie or Charlie Haven was back there at a desk. (Wasn't her dad, Otto). Behind him on the wall was a calendar with the first picture I ever saw of a "naked lady." (Probably Junie's). I recall whispering "Lou, that's a picture of a naked lady!" and she said "So?" Ha. Many years later, the image still seared into my brain, I recognized it as the Marilyn Monroe Playboy Red Pin Up...

Paul: OMG...other than National Geographic magazines, I believe that pin-up calendar featured the first photos I ever saw of naked ladies! I remember both Rick (Lou's brother who later decided to go by Otto) and John Haven would take me to the office behind the screen at the Imperial at various times. I also remember all the office furniture looked like it came right out of a 1930's private eye movie! That office had a somewhat mystical vibe to it - and I never got to see enough of THAT calendar!

Jeannie: I remember several things from the picture show.I remember Mrs. Walker, the lady that took the tickets at the picture show. We called her "Scooter Walker" because of the way she shuffled when she walked. She always scared me!Kissing competitions, Junie and his flash light, Goobers for sale, and why did the bathroom always smell like grape soda????I was never allowed to go to the balcony until in the 70's when Ted Parker bought that property for his furniture store. That was when I noticed the two windows, one for whites and one for blacks, and outside stairs leading to the balcony. Upstairs they had their own vending machinesand bathrooms. There was also writing on the walls...It was a very interesting piece of history.

Your turn: Comment below or Blog (at right) or email


Blogger Debbie Montgomery said...

One of my most memorable moments at the Imperial was the night that "Sivad"(his name, Davis, spelled backwards)from Fantastic Features made an appearance. All I remember is that the auditorium was packed and Sivad came on stage and talked a little. It was a really big occasion!
Does everyone remember Fantastic Features that would begin with Sivad riding on a hearse through a foggy cemetery(I think)? That gave me the creeps everytime!

Mon Jul 17, 02:13:00 PM 2006  

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