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One of the best days I ever spent as a kid was attending a double feature here of “Journey To The Center Of The Earth” with “The Lost World”, then spending the rest of the day at Pleasure Beach. What more could a kid ask for?
Two memories of “The Whalley”: When “BEN HUR” premiered, it seemed to run here forever. Also, one night about 1069 or 70, I attended a special Halloween showing of “Frankenstein” and “Dracula”. (Ididn’t have a VCR then!)
Recently, the Showcase Cinemas that replaced the Drive In were themselves closed down for a newer, bigger Cine-showbox-plex located in the CT Post Mall, a short distance down the road.
The STRAND stood across the street from its more lofty neighbors, the LOEW’s POLI (Palace) and MAJESTIC. Whereas one spent hours gazing and dreaming about the fancy ceilings and chandeliers and ornamental appintments of these twin movie palaces, one merely attended the STRAND for entertainment’s sake-a double featured which changed three times weekly, cartoons, short subjects, newsreels, serials-all for 25 cents admission. However, those who preferred their entertainment on the “right side” of Main Street wouldn’t dare admit they had visited the STRAND, which was often spoken of as “The Garlic House” and “The Scratch House”. Next door was the Ocean Sea Grill, which survived its neighbor for many years prior to its demise. Furhter down the street was the CRYSTAL PALCE, a storefront of arcade-type games, and where you could still win those small black-and-white cards of B-Western stars. When the STRAND finally left us (due, I believe, to a fire), its facade still beckpned with colorful promises of movies that would never be. One of them was “The Thing (From Another World”). This was in 1960 or 61, long after it had made its debut on TV. But, the STRAND never pretended to be a first-run, or first-class, showplace.