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Hey Johncfd. When you explored the building, did you ever get into the tower? I often wondered what, if anything, was in it.
I remember the childrens play room. You never had a problem with noisy kids while enjoying a movie. Every theatre should have one.
Lewis-champlain was most likey torn down due to most of the neighborhood diappearing. I still remember seeing the steam engine that ran the ventilation fan for the building. The brass on that engine was polished like a fire engine. My recollections of Hamilton Park are vague at best. My grandfather used to take me to political gatherings at one of those theatres on the east side of Wentworth somewhere around 69th(?) street. I remember a small train station at Hamilton Park on the Rock Island line. I had friends from Westcott Vocational that lived in the building next to the Rock Island at 74th Street. We often took the bus from there to go swimming at Grand Crossing pool.
Patties50, Lewis Champlain and all the other school buildings on the block are gone, with Englewood being replaced by an updated building and an athletic field. I too remember having Miss Vanderpool. Also, Miss Guinan in 1st grade, my first male teacher in 6th grade, Mrs Lewis in 7th, and Miss Oswald in 8th grade. 7th and 8th were in the Englewood building. I went there in the late forties, returning in the mid fifties. What a culture shock that was LOL. It turned totally black north of 63rd street and east of the tracks at Wallace, while south of 63rd and west of Wallace street was all white. 63rd street and Wallace were like borders for several years.
It seems to me that as the neighborhood changed, the Stratford became a storefront church.
I often went there in the early 50s. It had kids matinees for 9 cents. We became friends with the projectionist and we were able to get in when the first holocaust movies were shown, limited to adults only. I was 7 or 8 at the time. I also remember a friend winning a bicycle by getting popcorn boxtops from the customers.
I remember going to it 1952-4.
The pic of the Southtown is at http://davesrailpix.com/cta/htm/cta0350.htm I lived at 227 W. 61st Place and went to Lewis Champlain and often went to the Southtown. I’ll post more later.