Going to the movies

When I was growing up the movie theaters were a lot different from now.  They had single theaters which were large and most had balconies.  I can remember sitting in the theater looking at ceiling.  I was fascinated by the ceiling because they were so ornate back then and the seats were plush.  They ran a newsreel, cartoon, and a double feature.  You could go to the show at anytime, buy a ticket go into the theater, take a seat, and start watching the movie.  When the movie was over you could stay and watch the beginning of the movie to where you came in and then leave or watch the whole thing again.  If you really liked the movie you could stay and watch it over and over.

I remember going to the York Theater on York Street in Elmhurst, Illinois.  I remember standing in line to see Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  I remember going with my parents to see shows they wanted to see.  When I got bored that is when I studied the ceiling.  When I was in high school a friend and I would go there every week during the summer.  I remember seeing Goldfinger and some Elvis movies that summer.   It was the only show around at the time.  Lombard had one too, but we didn’t use that one very often.






And we can’t forget about the Drive-In Movies back then.  They were a lot of fun.  We would bring our own food, sit in the car with awful speaker and watch the movies.  It was part of our summer’s back then.  The summer wasn’t complete without a couple of trips to the drive in.  We used the Sky Hi on Route 53 in Addison, IL when I was growing up.  About the only drive-in’s still around this area are the ones in McHenry, IL and one in West Chicago.  When my kids were small we used the West Chicago one a lot.  As a teenager I saw Rosemary’s Baby at the McHenry Drive in.


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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angie
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 10:19:01

    Gail, Those were the fun times. My earliest recollections of going to the show was when I was less than 8. At the time I lived in Pocatello, Idaho and was allowed to go to the movies with my 6 yr old brother. It cost 5 cents at the time. Can you imagine letting your children do that? The last movie I saw there was when I was 8. I went with my dad to see The House of Wax. That was the first scary movie I ever saw. It made a lasting impression on me, I remember it to this day. Many times I went to the York with friends. We would take a bus or the train to Elmhurst and walk the rest of the way to town. I saw “A Hard Days Night” with Dianne and one other person (Can’t remember who) there. Did you see that movie there. I remember the line to get into the theatre looked a mile long. What an experience. Girls crying and screaming all around me. Then and now I still can’t understand the mania of it all. Yeah they were cute and I loved their music, but geez….to lose all control? Guess I’m weird that way. Thanks for the great memories of the movies. I still love to go but I haven’t been to the York in quite a while. Went to the Drive In on 83 when I lived in Chicago and saw “Hondo” there. I think I was about 10 yrs. That’s the night I fell in love with John Wayne and his wonderful vocal chords. Ha Ha.


    • Gail Grunst Genealogy
      Mar 22, 2011 @ 23:18:19

      Angie, Sometimes, I miss Villa Park, Elmhurst, and Lombard. I have great memories of those towns. You mentioned taking the bus. My dad drove a bus for Leyden Motor Coach. Ginnie and I would catch the bus on St. Charles Road and ride it to Villa Avenue. We would go to the library, dime store, and get a soda at the drug store. We were only about 8 or 10 at the time. If I knew the bus driver, he would let us ride for free. He would even let us ride to “end of the line” at Grand and Harlem Avenues. I don’t think my mother ever wondered why we were go so long or worried about us. My grandmother lived on the other side of the Great Western rail tracks an easy ride on our bikes. So I often took off for her house and would be gone all day.


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