Saturday Afternoon Movies 1
If odd-sounding names like Lash LaRue, Hoot Gibson, Tom Mix, Crash Corrigan, and
Hopalong Cassidy sound familiar, then you too have fond memories of the cowboy
stars of long ago. For years their adventures were broadcast on the radio; the
introduction of the cinema changed them into legends of the silver screen. Many
were true marksmen; they rode handsome horses, performed rope tricks, and a few
could even dance, but the most famous of them were singers.
Bullets, bandits, and ballad-singing gents; sidekicks, stagecoaches, and
sweet-talking heroines all combined to create captivating chronicles filled with
rolling dust, sweaty horses and on occasion, unreciprocated affection.
Stewart-Webster Gas Company was a liquefied-petroleum business, founded and
operated by our parents. In those days, it was located downtown, on West Broad
Street, adjacent to the Richland Theatre. When my brother David and I were
declared mature enough to behave like young ladies and gentlemen, we were
permitted to attend the Saturday
afternoon matinee, unattended. We never dreamed of misbehaving because daddy
frequently walked over from next door to check on us.
The price of admission was one dime, and for fifteen cents more we stood in line
at the concession stand and purchased a box of hot buttered popcorn served in a
red and white cardboard box, and a paper cup full of ice-cold "co-cola." I
remember it as afternoons packed with excitement and refreshment, all for
Occasionally momma furnished an extra nickel for a sticky, caramel flavored
Sugar Daddy lollipop, or a frozen Milky-Way candy bar on a stick.
There was a lighted ticket booth that could be accessed from two sides; the
entrance that we frequented, and the access used by our housekeeper, Hattie Mae
and her family. They entered the movie by climbing a dimly lit staircase and
viewed the motion picture from a smoked-filled balcony.
When you paid your money to the young lady in the glass-enclosed box, she
dispensed a coupon through the tiny arched opening. During inclement weather,
and until the next customer appeared, she blocked the opening with a chock of
There are more memories of Saturday
afternoon movies to follow; stay tuned.
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