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Monday, 22 October 2007

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

By Chancy at driftwoodinspiration

It was the 1930's and the medium-sized college town of 25,000 people where I lived, had three movie theaters. They were the Palace, the Strand, and the Georgian. The Palace was decidedly upscale while the Strand was sometimes referred to as the “rat hole”. The Georgian was somewhere in between.

Saturdays I was allowed to walk to town to the picture show with my best friend, Catherine, and her big brother, Dick. We were given 10 cents each by our parents. This was the admission price for children over five. Catherine and I were both six years old.

Catherine’s brother Dick was about ten and he had big ideas. He took us to Woolworth’s Five and Dime Store and Catherine and I, with Dick’s help, spent our picture show money on candy. Back then 20 cents could buy an abundance of penny candy.

Then Dick proceeded to take us to the Strand box office and when they asked how old Catherine and I were, he would answer “They are both five.”

We got in free.

We sat in the darkened theater watching Hopalong Cassidy or Gene Autry ride the canyons of the Wild West and dodge the Indians. Then the continuing serial with Buck Rogers exploring space would come on and we would catch up on last week’s cliff hanger when Buck and company were left hanging in some sort of bad trouble.

All the while during the movie we were gorging ourselves on our ill-gotten gain of candy, candy, candy. I would leave the picture show each time with a bad headache never realizing I had a sugar overload. Perhaps my conscience was bothering me also. After all, Catherine and I were willing but silent accomplices in the candy caper.

Soon the day arrived when Dick could no longer palm us off as five-year-olds and the caper ended.

We had to pony up the whole dime to get in the picture show and our halcyon days of candy, candy, candy were over.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Ah, too bad you grew, Chancy! LOL

Did you, like my crowd, pile into the trunk of a car and go to the drive-in on Sat. night?

lol Chancy! Sounds like my Saturday afternoons at the Shoreway in Toledo! All that sugar spoiled my dinner which is prolly why my Mom didn't let me go too often.

I occasionally snitched a candy bar at the drug store and still feel a tad of guilt about that. But The Lone Ranger, Wild Bill Heacock (sp?) and the heroes you mention still live in my somewhat warped spirit.

In our wildest imaginations did we think that future movie tickets would cost $5.00 or more?

I had the opposite thing happen to me. The age that the price of a movie incraesed was, I think, 12 years old. I went to the movies with friends and the snippy young ticket taker said I was older than twelve. (I wasn't) and said I had to pay the adult price. I was humiliated and angry at the same time. Since I didn't have any more money she finally let me in. It spoiled my day but it also made me kinder to children when I became the adult.

Same thing that happened to Darlene was my fate, too, because I was always tall for my age and skinny besides. Since I was always with my parents the clerk let me in for the child's ticket, but they always smirked when they looked at me! It was humiliating.

Funny, I had three movie theaters in my town too. The Olympia was an upscale movie house, the Strand was inbetween and the Chelsea was "the scratch house."

The only time I went to the Chelsea was when they were showing King Kong.
Must have seen it at least three times,
could never get enough of that movie.

You little Dickens! Loved this story Chancy.

Darlene and Alice, the same thing happened to me. As I approached 11, but still under 12, when the price of a picture show ticket went up. After being hasseled several times with the cashier saying I HAD to be over 12, I started taking my birth certificate with me to the movie.

Chancy, I love your name! I have known only one other person in my life with that name. Do you know where your parents got it?

Though I was born in 1937, your story sounds a lot like my own experience--only we had one movie house: The Tujunga Theater. (Later a drive in came in.) Oh, the thrill of "being bad," but the problem is, we carry those silly little guilts throughout our lifetimes, or at least I do. It was 12 cents for us to get into the movie theater through age 12.

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