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There was always an off-duty Chicago Policeman in uniform or plain clothes for security at the Newberry when I worked there in 1971-1972. I never saw any trouble there, but if any of the employees needed to use the bathroom, they were told to use the WOMENS bathroom. I met Joel and Edward Ross many times at the Oak Theatre when I worked there. Joel drove a green Cadillac convertible and would often take the dancers out for lunch in it. Joel always treated the Andy Frain Ushers well. He kept a German Shepherd dog named Major at the Oak. I used to take Major for walks around the neighborhood. There was always a .38 calibre pistol in the box office drawer, and many of the Policemen from the Shakespeare Avenue Police Station would sit in the balcony and watch the 16mm porno “Loops” and the 3 live dancers on stage. Local ordinances required dancers to wear “Pasties and a G-String” on stage, no total nudity in 1972.
The liquor store on the site was Crown Liquors. My father, “Whitey” who managed the Music Box Theater from 1929 until his death in 1975, was friends with Frankie who delivered for Crown using only a special bicycle with a large basket in front and a large triangular kickstand. I never saw Frankie drive a car, but I was told he was pretty well-off financially.
Excellent Postcard image! View today is surprisingly similar. I lived around the corner of this building at the 2325 w Giddings entrance for 25 years. I am always amazed at what historic items are still available, and how easy it is to enjoy them on line. Thank you for sharing this postcard.
By the way, www.classmates.com may help you find others from Chase school.
SusanLocke, I did not attend Chase school, but I am in your “age group”. You are so lucky to have seen some of our TV Western Heroes in person! Here is some additional info: Duncan Renaldo, who played Cisco, was born in Romania. he often played “Ethnic” characters in the movies, including a WW2 Japanese Diplomat in two “Three Stooges” shorts. Leo Carillo was over seventy years old when he played “Pancho. On the Island of Hawaii, many celebrities, including Leo Carillo, have had "Banyan Trees” planted in their name on “Banyan Drive” Each banyan has a sign in front, including one for Leo. I may still have the photos somewhere. I went to McPherson Elem (1956-1965)and Amundsen HS(1965 to 1969) and lived in the Lincoln Square neighborhood at the time.
In the 1960’s I worked at the Music Box as an usher. I remember the Crown Liquor Store at this location very well. Crown had a deliveryman named “Frankie” who made all his deliveries with a special bicycle equipped with a very large basket in front of the handlebars, supported by a large triangular kickstand. Frankie used this bike in all types of weather- I never saw him drive a car. It was rumored that despite appearances, Frankie was quite well-off financially. He was one of the many colorful Southport Avenue citizens my parents “Whitey” and Dolores knew for many years. Whitey worked at the Music Box from 1929, Dolores from the 1950’s.
I lived near the Davis Theatre for 25 years ( actually, I lived in the same building where the old Bertha Theatre was located, just north of the Davis on Lincoln.) I don’t remember ever seeing a movie there, but I did take piano lessons at the Herrstrom School of Music and Dance, located in the same building on the second floor. Mrs Herrstrom was a very nice lady and a good teacher. Because my family did not own a piano, I had to practice my lessons on one of three “practice pianos” at the school. Of course I didn’t practice as much as Mrs Herrstrom wanted me to, but still I spent many hours in the Davis Building during the 1960’s.
I worked here in 1971 and 72 in the box office as an Andy Frain Usher,when porn movies were being shown. Francis Frain, one of five brothers descended from THE Andy Frain, was one of the co-owners of Andy Frain Crowd Engineering, and lived in the high-rise across the street from the theatre. I would sometimes get a snack from Geja’s Cafe next door west on Armitage.
As an Andy Frain Usher,I worked at the Image(Standard) theater in 1971-72, along with the 3 other porn theaters under the same owners. The manager was a gentleman named Herman, and I worked a six-hour shift in the box office, collecting $3.00 per customer. The Image, Newberry, Town(later Park West), and Oak theaters were all owned by Joel Ross and his father, along with other theaters in Kansas City, Mo.
In 1971-72 I worked for Andy Frain as a cashier at the Newberry and three other porn movie houses. The Newberry was showing gay porn, and was managed by Edward S., who knew my parents at the Music Box years before. Ed HATED gay men, and took every opportunity to verbally assault them. An off-duty Chicago Policeman in plain clothes was always present for security, but I never saw any trouble. The Frain Ushers worked a six-hour shift in the box office, collecting $3.00 per customer. Several of us were regularly assigned to the four theaters, easier work than standing outside while working at Soldier Field in January, and getting ten cents more per hour pay for handling cash.
Through the research of “Charles R” in his Post-1970 History of the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, I have recently learned that my father, who worked at the Music Box Theatre from 1929 until 1976, fist worked at the Bertha in 1928. He had emigrated to Chicago from Germany when he was 16 years old, and he had a maternal Uncle who was already working in the Lasker Building as a custodian. The Bertha was part of the Lasker Building, so Uncle probably got my father his first U.S. job there.
I worked as an Andy Frain Usher in 1971 & 1972. I was regularly assigned to work at the Oak Theatre, along with Adult “Sister Theatres” Town(Armitage & Clark), Image(Clark near Chicago), and the Newberry (across from the Newberry Library) with its “All Male Cast” features. The owner at the time was Joel Ross, whose father ran similar theatres in Kansas City. Joel was rotund with black hair and black-framed glasses..He always treated us Andy Frains well, and I used to enjoy walking his German Shepard dog, “Major”. Half of the Shakespeare Avenue Police Station could be found in the theatre balcony watching the show. In addition to the 16mm movies, 3 dancers would do a live show, stripping down to pasties and g-string. Two ladies came on,first, then the “star”. I got Tempest Storms to autograph posters for my class at DeVry Tech. Mr Ross would take the strippers out betweeen shows in his green Cadillac.
My family lived in the Lasker Building from 1951 to 1975. Our apartment was at 2325 w Giddings, and from our second floor back porch you could see the arched roof and rear loading dock of the Bertha. I remember climbing the fire escapes to the Bertha’s roof, from which you could view Downtown Chicago. The building was originally steam heated by coal-fired boilers. Lill Coal’s truck would park on Lincoln and deliver coal via a trapdoor in the sidewalk to the coal bin. Later the boilers were converted to gas. There was a tavern on Lincoln run by a platinum blonde lady named Dorothy. I used to play with her son Mark behind the tavern.
My father is the reputed “ghost” known as “Whitey” who reportedly “haunts” the Music Box. The Music Box Theatre’s website tells about him. A few years ago, I visited the Music Box with my teenage daughter to check things out. The employees we spoke to were all familiar with “Whitey”, and had many questions about him for me. The manager invited us to explore the theatre. We walked all around inside, but “Whitey” never made his appearance known to us. He and my mother, who worked as cashier at the Music Box until my fathers death in 1977, are buried in Graceland Cemetery.
The grocery store at Lincoln & Belle Plaine was called “Red Owl”, and had a red, black and white owl’s cartoon face as its outside logo. On the west side of Lincoln was the “Childrens Bargain Town” toy store.