Comments from Jim Vecchio

Showing 51 - 75 of 80 comments

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Seeking vintage movie theater ads on May 12, 2006 at 7:20 pm

I just submitted my simple question and was quite surprised to read your two responses. Thank you so much, Jim and Mike!To Jim: In the sixties I can remember doing lots of reading in a top floor of our main library and, as I recall, you could actually see and handle the old papers in those days. I have been meaning, Jim, to go to our library and do just as you suggested. Also, to Mike: Your website is tremendous and shows much effort. It saddens me to see those nostalgic old names from my hometown that are now just fond memories to those who knew them. You have done such a good job that I don’t want you to feel this is in any way a criticism, but there are some revisions you might consider to your section on Bridgeport: The KLEIN MEMORIAL is still very much open, and often has live shows, often of local interest. I have not attended a show there in many, many years, but I hear it has been refurbished into quite a showplace. Also, the theater you list as BLACK ROCK and ART CINEMA on 2740 Fairfield Ave., was the BEVERLY. It was known by that name at least from the fifties to the time of its demise, which, I recollect, was in the early 80’s. It was an Icon to the neighborhood and is sorely missed. In fact, there is a local Pizza Place which named itself after the theater, BEVERLY PIZZA HOUSE which has not only outlived the theater, but has branched off in another section of the city! And, the Candelite-Pix, I’m pretty certain, was on River Street since either the late forties or early fifties.Unfortunately, much of my family has passed on,so there aren’t too many I can ask about these things anymore, but I seem to remember hearing that, prior to its becoming a Drive-In, this was some sort of a Speedway. Again, I’m not entirely sure, but it may even have borne the name Candelite at that time.
Thanks again, for your responses!!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Dixwell Theatre on May 12, 2006 at 9:47 am

I lived in New Haven from 1969 to 1973, and, at one time during that period, probably 1970, I remember attending a movie at a theater on Dixwell Avenue. I could never remember whether it was the “Dixwell ” or “The Strand”. Now, thanks to LOST MEMORY and DJHARRYG, I can finally determind it was THE STRAND! Thanks-even the smallest bit of info can be important to someone!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Circle in the Square Theatre on May 10, 2006 at 9:17 am

I attended a play here in the mid-70’s entitled “P.S. Your Cat is Dead”. The first two letters should have been “P.U.!!!”

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Little Theatre on Apr 27, 2006 at 10:07 am

I attended this movie house periodically prior to its sad demise; There was never a regretted moment, and I’d much rather see a classic here than on a video or DVD. One of my memories was that at some time, someone wrote on an inside wall, “Strother Martin Lives” and everytime I would attend a showing, I would always look forward to viewing that anonymous fan’s statement. I wonder if it is still there. Maybe I’ll atend a New Haven film festival showing this year and find out. Incidentally, prior to the closing of YORK SQUARE Cinemas, the referred to their third screen as “The Lincoln at York Square” but it definitely wasn’t!!!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Mystic Village 3 Cinemas on Apr 27, 2006 at 9:59 am

While in Mystic a short while ago, we attended a showing of “The Hitchikers' Guide To the Galaxy”. There was nothing really outstanding about this theater (or the movie, either, for that matter.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Bostwick Theatre on Apr 20, 2006 at 7:59 am

As I wrote in the “Colony” slot, PLEASE, does anyone have a picture of this theater in the context of its old setting? It appears this structure and everything that was around it has been razed.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Pleasant Valley Drive-In on Apr 16, 2006 at 3:17 pm

I just took a ride by the area. The good news is: This theater WILL be re-opening for another season, beginning on April 28 and 29.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Strand Theatre on Apr 9, 2006 at 4:33 am

I do not remember this, but I have learned that, for quite a while, children used to rush into the female bathroom, which happened to be located behind an outdoor candy concession, link to one another and stretch out and snatch all the candy they could while the cashier had her back to them!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Loew's Globe Theatre on Apr 9, 2006 at 4:31 am

This theater opened during Christmas week of 1912.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Cinestudio on Apr 5, 2006 at 3:30 pm

I survived a terrible traffic jam and a furious race against the clock to make a recent showing of “Gojira”. When I finally arrived, I found the parking to be nowhere near as convenient as my downloaded diagram suggested. I nearly gave up, but finally found a space somewhat in the vicinity where I was able to squeeze in. But, all was forgiven when the movie aired-the presentation was brilliant, the sound was exceptional, and most of all, I arrived on a day when the History Dept. had scheduled a “special showing” and my admission was free! I won’t soon forget this theater!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio on Apr 5, 2006 at 9:56 am

Great work with the photos! This is a very ambitious undertaking!-Fedoozle

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Community Theater on Apr 2, 2006 at 2:56 pm

I saw that there was a “family friendly” movie playing there today, so I brought along my wife and daughter, who had never been to the theater. It was a little shabbier than I remembered it, but still at least struggling to exist. The theater was manned (or, should I say, “adolescened”) by teens and pre-teens who did all the jobs, such as taking care of the tickets, refreshments, and ushering. The tickets aew $4, a bargain in this age. The popcorn and soda were great and very low-priced. I don’t know if the kids did the projector also, but I was quite surprised to see the movie began at precisely the time advertised…for all of about five seconds. Then, there was a deafening roar and the screen went black. After a bit, one of the teens came into the audiorium and apologized to the audience, stating “there was something wrong with the projector” and “it would be abour five minutes” before it could be fixed. About 25 minutes later, the movie began, shortly beyond the point of trouble. Despite all this, I’m happy to see concerned citizens doing what they can to keep this movie house going, and, if they make good enough movies, I’ll be back.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Warner Theatre on Mar 31, 2006 at 6:36 am

I should mention that, through most of the fifties, the “WARNER” was tied in with the “MERRITT” on Main street in the North End, both showing the same double-bills.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about York Square Cinema on Mar 31, 2006 at 6:33 am

I began and ended my patronage here with Humphrey Bogart. In the early seventies, YORK SQUARE held a Bogart festival that lasted, I believe, for 2-3 weeks and, in which they showed double-features of virtually all of Bogart’s films. This was my first visit here, and many fire-codes must’ve been broken-Every available seat was taken, there were wall-to-wall people, and even every available inch of floor space was taken! Conversely, I bid “Adieu” to YORK SQUARE with a viewing of “The Big Sleep”, and there uncountable empty seats, and a very small, relatively unenthusiastic audience. What a difference a few decades made!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Art Cinema on Mar 31, 2006 at 6:11 am

Are you talking about the BEVERLY? That was the only name I knew this theater by. In the fifties the HI-WAY and BEVERLY were always linked, even though they were miles apart, always showing the same show.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about American Theatre on Mar 31, 2006 at 6:09 am

This was probably the last motion picture house in the world to show “The bowery Boys Meet The Monsters” shortly before its demise!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Astor Theatre on Mar 31, 2006 at 6:07 am

Though I believe it had “a prior life under another name”, until its demise, the ASTOR always showed Spanish-language films, and was part of a neighborhood few would dare to tread at night.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Flora Theatre on Mar 31, 2006 at 6:02 am

It would be interesting to note if this is a relation of the Sam Levinson we all knew and loved from quiz shows in the fifties.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Community Theater on Mar 31, 2006 at 5:58 am

I have attended this theater both prior to and following its “twinning”. If there were better movies today,I would frequent it more often, as this is one of the few places you can get a small sense of what movie theaters were like in their heyday.My favorite story about this theater was, approximately 16 or 17 years ago I attended a viewing. When they changed reels, the segue was so choppy that afterwards, I found myself discussing this with one of the patrons and suggesting that maybe they “lost a reel” in the process. Afterwards, I was listening to a review of the movie on the radio and discovered that I had been conversing with the critic herself, who mentioned our conversation in her review!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Candlelite Pix Drive-In on Mar 31, 2006 at 5:41 am

Yes, it was a twin screen theater and I spent many happy moments hearing the movie on one screen with my head turned around watching the movie on the other screen. The snack shop sold drive-in pizzaa that tasted like tomatoes on rotting cardboard and egg rolls that tasted like molten shoe leather, but, if it could be brought back, I wouldn’t change a thing!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Pleasant Valley Drive-In on Mar 30, 2006 at 7:16 am

What a wonderful place to spend a summer night. There are only two things that disturb its old-fashoned atmsphere: (1) I wish they could have retained the speaker system rather than convert to radio frequency and (2) The movies of today seem oddly out-of-place. What we need are more films like “The Brain From Planet Arous”!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Loew's Palace Theatre on Mar 30, 2006 at 7:07 am

I wonder if anyone in the Bridgeport area remembers: In the early fifties, a local politician who often ran for, but never was elected to, the office of mayor by the name of Sandula used to open the PALACE (POLI) around Christmas time. It was referred to as “Sandula’s Christmas Party” and everyone would get in free and there would be free movies and cartoons, candy, and gifts.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Bijou Theatre on Mar 30, 2006 at 6:48 am

Throughout the fifties and into the seventies, Iknew this as THE RIVOLI. They had a program venue similar to that of the STRAND, with the shows changing three times weekly, and plenty of movie posters to dream about on the outside. The inside was unpretentious, but you always got your money’s worth. In the Sevenites, they changed to the STUDIO CINEMA, and added the Chaplin silhouette on the marquis. Then, it changed to the DOWNTOWN FAMILY CINEMA and quietly passed away. Hardly anyone wanted to go to that part of town anymore, let alone park your car nearby. One thing I remember is attending a showing in the seventies, and in the coming previews, there was a trailer of “Godzilla Vs The Thing”. The narrator began the trailer with, “It started out innocently, as a giant egg…” My friend turned to me and said, “How can a giant egg be innocent?”

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Colonial Theatre on Mar 30, 2006 at 6:40 am

If you look closely, you can see the carved letters “COLONIAL” on the top of what has been allowed to fester into a real junk-heap. Just the other day, I noted a building on the other side of town, on Fairfield Avenue shortly before the intersection with Commerce Drive, below Black Rock, that bore simlar carvings which read “WEST COLONIAL”. I wonder if this movie house once had a “sister” on the other side of town.

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio commented about Colony Theatre on Mar 30, 2006 at 6:36 am

I often ride by the area where I believe this theater used to be (also other long-gone theaters around this section of town, such as THE BOSTWICK). I would love to see some old photos taken of these theaters in the context of their original neighborhood locations. There is simply nothing there to denote that they ever even existed.