Monday, December 17, 2007

Let's Go to the Movies

When we were sharing a large volume of emails among ourselves, The Movies came out as one of the liveliest topics. I will try to insert some of the highlights from those emails, but for starters in this brand new post, here's what Woody Reed Tanner recalls about the Florida Theatre. (Apparently some jobs call for heavy insurance coverage!) Then take a look at movie memories from Sue Bagg-Foreman and Skip Cleveland.

After reading Barb's note on her experience, I thought I would share this. That same summer I was an usher for the Florida, making a whopping 35 cents an hr. Then we heard Elvis was going to come there to perform, I didn't even know who he was. haha. Well the day of the show, the large crowd outside was getting restless, the manager told me to go open the doors, well I did and was immediately knocked down and nearly stampeded to oblivion, when a policeman reached down and jerked me to my feet and saved the day. He obviously knew what was going to happen, not little naive me. Well we all watched the show and I was hooked on Elvis from then to now. The rumors you hear about female clothing left behind or thrown at the stage, are true. When we had to clean up between shows us ushers could not believe what we found. That was something for the mid 50's. Barbara I am surprised I didn't remember such a cute girl working there at that time. WoodyPS I worked all summer and saved $35 and bought Rick Rados' 1925 2 door chevy with wooden spoked wheels. Roger, Doug, Ronnie, Norman, and I Went everywhere in that thing. Then the following summer I sold it to a sophomore for $25. Do you know what that car would be worth today?

Sue Bagg recalls: went to see Elvis at the beginning of his career at the Florida Theatre. I think I went with Joan Moody and a couple other girlfriends. That was when my mother said "in a year you won't remember who he is." I was a fan of his and saw him in concert 4 times during his career.

John Bagg says, in our listing of downtown theatres from the "old days", we're forgetting the Paramount in the 1800 block of Central Ave. He says it's still there under the freeway. He wonders why the classic Florida Theater building is gone and the junky Paramont is still there. Hmmm.

Here is a priceless movie memory from Skip Cleveland:

I worked at the Pheil theater at one of my first jobs. The projection room was hung outside in a tin building on a fire escape affair. From there was a ladder bolted to the outside that went up over the top of the dome so that you (me) could climb up and change chandelier bulbs through a trap door in the dome ceiling. This was all about three stories up over the alley, I am biting a hole in my chair now. Oklahoma played there for about a month along with a little trailer about a kid growing up in Africa; the music was sing song junk and was unbearable.

There were some good movies there though, teen ager stuff with Little Richard and others. That place was real a dump but fun.

We had no corn popper so, we went down to the Cameo and brought it back in large plastic bags. If we got these during rush hour, we had to cross 4th. and Central diagonally to save time. For some reason, the bags would break open in the middle of the intersection and spill pop corn out which would then get scattered around. It got swarmed by about a billion pigeons which would tie up traffic for an hour or more. As I mentioned, it was fun.

Elvis made his appearance at the Florida theatre one night which was quite an event.
The Sun was an art film theatre all right; they showed European films and a bunch of us went there to see ''God Created Woman'' staring Brigitte Bardot. We all thought that was a bit of a letdown considering the local talent in good old St. Skeet and Tampa.

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