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I remember Hecate’s Circle very well. Danny Starobin turned me on to the place and I saw Sweet Stavin Chain play dozens of times there. Danny and I got to know each other while I was caddying for his pop at Ashbourne C.C. Danny showed up to talk to his dad and got the worst treatment from his pop…made me sick. I dropped the golf bag and told him I don’t work for assholes. We became friends . I miss him. RIP Danny.
Tim Buckley taped a performance there that was his best work. Kaleidoscope is in the album title. I saw a pic with EMPRESS across the face of this building Go to Google Images and search Empress Theater Philadelphia. There’s a 1920 photo with EMPRESS on the building.
This was the Kaleidoscope, a music venue in the 60s. I saw the Fugs and Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys there. It didn’t last long.
This is simply a treasure and must be sampled. If you live in the BayArea and haven’t been there…..whaddya waitin fer????
I lived on Sewell Rd as a little kid (1953-1964) and we used to play and build underground forts and treeforts in the woods running from Stevens Rd. to Bustleton Ave. These woods were also our shortcut to Lumar Shopping center. We’d hit Lumar Drugs for Lime Rickeys from their fountain and then hit the A&P to smell the fresh ground 8 o'clock coffee. One horrible day, bulldozers were clearing the trees and grading the dirt that held our forts, destroying everything we built. I hated that theater’s very existence. Never set foot inside it. Went to the Orleans, Mayfair or Merben instead.
Went there once and got jumped. Never went back.
I remember the chandolier and the vending machine. This was 5 minutes from my house across from Dougherty. The vending machine had a ??? mystery slot. My friends would get good stuff but everytime I pulled the lever, I got NIBS. I’ve since developed a taste for licorice but I hated it as a kid. 15 of us saw “The Alamo” together and, after the flick, we ran across the street to Fishers Park and re-enacted the battle scenes.
Strong memories of the Esquire. I would take my mom there to try to distract her from her grief after my dad’s passing. Saw “Man for All Seasons”, “Bonnie & Clyde”, “Z”…among others. Worked at the White Tower across the street and danced at Wagner’s Ballroom with the Geator with the Heater.
Boy, am I an idiot…lived in Olney for a time, went to the Erlen and never realized that Erlen is an anagram for Renel.
The last flix I saw at the Crest were a John Waters film festival. It had gotten pretty shabby.
Seems like I grew up on the Lincoln Drive In lot. I hail from Somerton, about 2 mi. from the theater. My most memorable experience was a 1968 date with my future wife. We went to a $1.00 a carload dawn to dusk horror fest. The first couple movies were horrible and we were “comfortably numb” when Night of the Living Dead came on. That woke us up…fast! There was a full moon framing the ever creepy Max Security bldg and some out-buildings of Byberry Mental Hospital. Lethal combination…I did 70 MPH down Roosevelt Blvd til I cleared Byberry Rd. NOLD is still my favorite movie.
This was a magical theater, at least to me. I took my prom date here about a week before the event in 1968 and we saw Gone With The Wind. Funny, my friends in Olney never heard of the place. I was and am a movie nut and I would drive 100+ miles to sample the ambiance of a previously unvisited theater or Drive In. So many cool places on Rt 30, Rt 3, Rt 309…the list goes on. Multiplexes make me sick…no class or style. No chandoliers (Fern Rock), no velvet (Mayfair & Merben), no balconies…everything stripped down for max profits and screw the dignity of the theater fan.