Friday, December 21, 2012

Louisville, KY movie ads on December 10, 1957

All that's left of the Ohio is its facade and marquee.  Likewise, only part of the Uptown exists and is now a restaurant.  The Rialto, one of Louisville's largest and most impressive movie palaces, was torn down soon after playing the 1967 Rex Harrison musical, Doctor Dolittle.  The Crescent, always known as a neighborhood art theater, has long been converted into a restaurant.  The Westend and Cozy are long gone.  The Brown became a legit theatre many years ago, and continues as such to this day.
Neighborhood theaters, all gone.
The Mary Anderson was one of the older theaters in downtown Louisville.  Part of an office building, it was gutted long ago.  The Kentucky still exists, though gutted and repurposed.  The drive-ins are all gone.  
The Lowe's & United Artists was an unusual corporate sharing of one theater when it was built in 1928. John Eberson, famed for his atmospheric theaters, designed it.  In the early 1960s, the balcony was converted into the Penthouse while the downstairs became the United Artists, eventually inheriting the Rialto's Cinerama screen, which they touted as D-150, though neither movie shot in the process -- Patton nor The the Beginning played there.  It is now known as The Louisville Palace and has been completely restored.

Memorial Auditorium, a handsome Greek revival-style venue, still exists.  Who knew that Paulette Goddard toured in The Waltz of the Toreadors?  In 1958, Melvyn Douglas took it back to Broadway with Betty Field.  Perhaps Paulette had had enough.

Merry Christmas from Stewart's Dry Goods, Louisville, KY

This charming watercolor graced the cover of Stewart's catalog sometime mid-century.  Stewart's was the Bloomingdale's of Louisville, and like most regional department stores, it no longer exists.  The flagship store downtown was saved, at least, and is now an office building.  More information is on this excellent department store museum site.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Mother's Big Moment, December 10, 1957

December 10, 1957:  a bank robbery so large in suburban Louisville, KY it was picked up on the wire and the robbers didn't even get the fame they deserved.  It all took place at the Citizens Fidelity Bank branch at Dixie Manor Shopping Center.  My mother, who was the bank secretary, stole it from them.  As she later told me many times, the robbers came in waving guns and said "Everyone out front."  "Well, I was already out front," she told me.  "I thought they meant outside, so that's where I went!  I didn't even have a sweater!  I was freezing!  I heard one of them say, 'Hey, where's she going!' but I didn't think he meant me until I turned around and saw I was the only one out on the sidewalk.  So I ran until I saw a lineman up on a telephone pole.  He called the police." In the complete article which follows, you'll detect a slightly different version.

My aunt, who was in college in Missouri, read about it in the St. Louis paper.  When my mother told grandfather on the telephone that 'we were held up today but I'm okay,' he replied "Oh, all right," rather nonchalantly, assuming she was referring to being held up in traffic.

Soon afterwards, a periodical of some sort speculated that since my mother walked out of the bank unscathed, it was rather hard to believe she wasn't in on the scheme, even referring to her as a 'cheap blonde.'  Oh, how I wish they'd kept a copy!  More troubling was a letter we received.  Angry at her interference, someone, perhaps even a cheap blonde, threatened to kidnap me!  The police weren't convinced it was to be taken seriously as I recall.  I was never kidnapped, so I presume they were right.

The sentencing, December 10, 1958.  No mention of George.