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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's Always New Year's Eve at Greenbriar

Rochester, Minnesota's Chateau Theatre Is Now a Barnes and Noble

Kids Get The Party Jump On Parents

Park the tykes and fill up the liquor cabinet. That may have been parental notion on New Year's Eve as stage was set at home for "grown-up" partying that night. What better occasion to unload kids at Rochester, Minnesota's Chateau Theatre, where each 60's New Year brought delight in the form of features management rented at $25 top (plus cartoon seasoning) to fill 1,488 seats. Concession sales would tie a ribbon on it. Free popcorn and a dime candy bar, sure, but would sugared-up moppetry stop at that? Like with mom and dad hours later, "just one" would scarcely do, adult intake of alcohol matched by offspring's Coke downpour and cherry smashing. And note that drinks weren't free at the Chateau, this assuring youth would tap concession well to wash down free corn. There was method to madness of kid shows, Saturdays the profit day at virtually any venue. Note use of a 1960 ad slick recycled for 1963's event. And how many had seen or would remember The Three Worlds Of Gulliver from three years before? Smaller kids would be coming to it fresh --- that's how  many such pix stayed evergreen through much of a decade, only question being if exchanges kept prints on hand and what shape they were in. By the way, that dime candy bar would have been a hoss in 1963. I remember ten cent Baby Ruths pulling weight for entire shows, being big as a nine-year-old's outstretched arm. And look here --- there's compensation of Charade for teetotaler adults and/or those not invited to New Year blowouts.

http://www.amazon.com/Showmen-Sell-Hot-Merchandise-Hollywood/dp/0971168598/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388494227&sr=1-1&keywords=showmen+sell+it+hot

1 Comments:

Blogger John McElwee said...

Dan Mercer remembers long-ago popcorn and moviegoing:


When I was a boy, no movie-going adventure would be complete without popcorn. I never cared for candy or chocolate bars, but popcorn was indispensable. Yellow, seasoned, and heavily salted, it became a fix I could not do without. My usual venue, the Fox Theater in Levittown, New Jersey, offered the 15 cent bag or the 25 cent box. If I'd gotten my allowance and was flush, I'd go for the box, but sometimes the bag would have to do. The happiest summer of my young life up to that point was when my mother took a job at the theater behind the concession stand. Then I got in free to see shows like "El Cid" or "King of Kings"--also so she could keep an eye on me and my sister while she was working--and all the popcorn I could finagle out of her. I was a little surprised to find that the corn wasn't freshly popped. The Budco Company, which owned the theater, would bring in giant plastic bags of the stuff. The big glass case at the concession stand wasn't a popcorn machine, just a way of dispensing it. I liked it nonetheless, even when my mouth would pucker by the time I finished a box. Alas, all good things do come to an end. My mother took a job at Collier-Macmillan in the Riverside, the book publisher, and was there another 30 years while keeping a house, rearing her children, going to church every Sunday and caring for a husband who was in and out of hospitals, but never stopped working himself.

Daniel

9:56 AM  

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