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Friday, May 09, 2014

Holy Toledo --- What a Show Town!


The Miracle Mile Was Paradise For Drive-Inners

Knew a girl in college that grew up in Toledo, but wasn't aware of what a showman's Mecca it was until years' later coming across ads like this one for fabled Miracle Mile Drive-In, which had to be that town or anywhere's best bargain for entertainment during the 50's. It's one thing to have a playground, but a Ferris wheel and Merry-Go-Round? And what was the "Miracle Wheel"? I'm not sure we had even monkey bars at the Starlight, or a per se playground, for that matter. Live acts at a drive-in could be problematic. How do you address stage performing to folks seated in a thousand cars? (the Miracle Mile had eventual capacity for 1,870) "Music At Its Zaniest" was supplied in this instance by Sanderson and Nanon, who must have been a local act, if not amateurs, because I couldn't find reference to them anyplace. Checked record, however, of our outdoor venues for in-person spots, most notable of which was Tim Holt showing up to the Starlight in 1954 for meet and greet. Tim had close friends in nearby Statesville and may have done the app as a favor to one, as he'd quit westerns by then (Statesville Theatre Corp. owned the Starlight). Back to the Miracle Mile: They had a screen that was 120 foot wide ... now that's some serious wide. The place had opened in 11/54 with Cinemascope a keynote (Broken Lance the initial attraction). There was a cafeteria that for all I know served Rib Eye steak. I'd expect as much for a site so luxurious as this. The Miracle Mile is gone now, torn down in the late 80's, replaced with a shopping center now empty. What  survives are memories of those who went regular in its heyday, plus fab ads that routinely ran in The Toledo Blade. I wish I had the entire run of them.

3 Comments:

Blogger Mike Cline said...

"Drawing" the newspaper ads was always my favorite task of running theaters. Whoever did it for the Miracle Mile was a genius. PLEASE...give us more of them.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

"Sanderson and Nanon" were a hillbilly novelty act: husband-and-wife performers Everett and Nanon Sanderson. They had been members of the Weaver Brothers & Elviry stage revue in the late 1930s. Everett's specialty was playing more than one musical instrument simultaneously, and Nanon was a singer and dancer.

2:41 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Thanks very much, Scott. This is great info that had eluded me.

3:39 PM  

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