Jul 23, 2007

And the winners are...

While commenting about Dot's diary a few years ago, Sis gave her reviews of the local Englewood neighborhood theatres [map]:

Sis: “Here's a rundown on the movie theatres we went to, in order of the best first:
  1. Southtown: built like a big, pink stucco palace. A fountain inside with live swans, and a playroom where attendants baby-sat children for a fee, I guess. It had a miniature merry-go-round. A beautiful lobby and staircase leading to the balcony. No vaudeville acts. Top movies here first, and the most expensive. If a date took you here, he scored points.
  2. Stratford: a nice, clean theatre, but I can't remember it for being extra-classy like the Southtown. Movies were current, but main draw was the live acts. They had top-notch entertainers like Bob Hope, Danny Kaye, Dick Haymes, and Doris Day, to name a few. Comedians were a big draw and also singers. Admission was a little cheaper than the Southtown, but not by much.
  3. Englewood: it was once a beautiful theatre, but had become a little seedy. Still it was all clean and well-run. It really was a favorite of ours. Not because it was affordable, but you really got your money's worth. Most of the time there were three pictures, a cartoon and maybe a newsreel. Then you had a few live acts. That was the big draw. Some were very good: singers, dancers, magicians and a lot of acrobats— mostly Chinese. But some were a little down and out with frayed costumes and —we thought— a little tipsy. So you never knew what was coming on stage. Sometimes we laughed ourselves silly. At other times we actually felt sorry for some of these ‘entertainers’.
  4. Linden: a little, shabby interior and a small theatre. Usually very old movies. We went there to save money, but also to see any movies we missed. Your date was a little cheap if he sugested going here (unless you were going steady).
  5. Empress: I almost forgot this one. To be honest, I can remember very little about the interior for some reason. It probably should be rated #4, for it wasn't a bad theatre. It's just that my memory is not so good.
  6. Ace: was the pits. We didn't go here too often, for it wasn't run too well. The ushers let kids in by the exit door. Every so often a shaft of sunlight came in and the door closed. Very seldom did we see a manager around. The audience spoke a lot to the screen, a la Rocky Horror style. Sometimes they came up with some pretty funny lines. I remember leaving once because of some unsavory characters. Cheap, cheap admission.

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