Comments from Jim Huffman

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Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman commented about Chicago Theatre on Sep 20, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Sorry that this was printed as one ran-together piece, had it all separated paragraphs. I will send a decent list to anyone who wants one via email.

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman commented about Chicago Theatre on Sep 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Chicago Theater Movie & Stage Schedules For 1955, Compiled By Jim Huffman, Former (Part-Time) Usher 1955-56, 05/27/55 = Date I was hired. . Starting Date Movie Title Times Stage Performers Times . (S) Singer; © Comedian; (Ms) Musician; (D) Dancer; (E) Entertainer); (Mg) Magician; (I) Impersonator; (A) Acrobat; (J) Juggler; (B) Band; (sp) Spelling?; (?) Unknown. Opinions, Answers & Corrections are Welcomed. . Staff at beginning of year 1955. Aprox 50-ushers min: Chief of Service, several Captains, many Lieutenants 30-or so grunts, all part-timers High school & College students. 3-full-timers (none were officers). 4-Managers, cashiers, several elderly ticket takers, aprox 12-part time candy girls, others. Note: Full time ushers were primarily high school drop-outs that never stayed too long. Always scheduled early to supplement the part-timers.
. Fri 12/31/54 (1st & 2nd Weeks) Veracruz 9:15, 12:17, 3:19, 6:21, 8:57, 11:25 Julius LaRosa (S); Kitty Kallen (S); Phil Lawrence & Mitzi (?); Gary Morton ©; Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:26, 2:28, 5:30, 8:06, 10:35 . Fri 01/14/10 (3rd Week) Veracruz 9:15, 12:17, 3:19, 6:21, 8:57, 11:25 Julius LaRosa (S); Lola Dee (S); Phil Lawrence & Mitzi (?); Gary Morton ©; Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:26, 2:28, 5:30, 8:06, 10:35 . Fri 01/21/55 The Bridges of Toko-Ri 9:15, 11:54, 2:33, 5:12, 7:51, 10:29 Sarah Vaughan (S); Larry Storch ©; Don, Dick & Jimmy (S); Lewis & Van (?); Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:03, 1:42, 4:21, 7, 9:39 . Fri 02/11/55 3 Ring Circus 9:20, 12:07, 2:54, 5:41, 8:28, 11:14 The Gaylords (S); Roy Hamilton (S); Jack Carter ©; Bud & Cece Robinson (?); Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:16, 2:03, 4:50, 7:37, 10:24 . Fri 02/25/55 Many Rivers to Cross 9:30, 12:06, 2:42, 5:18, 7:54, 10:29 Joyce Bryant (S), Illinois Jacquet (Ms), The Roulettes (S), Al Bernie ©, Marty Gold & Orchestra. 11:16, 1:51, 4:27, 7:09, 9:39 . Fri 03/11/55 New York Confidential 10:00, 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:29 Vic Damone (S), Joan Weber (S), Don Tannen ©, Berk & Hallow (D), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:39, 2:09, 4:39, 7:09, 9:39 . Fri 03/25/55 The Purple Plain 9:20, 11:55, 2:30, 5:08, 7:44, 10:19 Georgia Gibbs (S), Bill Hayes (S), Johnny Maddox (Ms), Piero Bros & The Albins (?), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:05, 1:40, 4:15, 6:53, 9:30 . Fri 04/08/55 Untamed 9:45, 12:55, 4:07, 7:18, 10:20 Crewcuts (S), Will Jordan (I), Bobby Brandt ©, De John Sisters (S), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:55, 3:06, 6:17, 9:25 . Fri 04/29/55 Kiss Me Deadly 9:00, 11:40, 2:20, 5:00, 7:44, 10:24 Ella Fitzsgerald (S), Eddie Fontaine (S), The Chuckles (?), Los Gatos (?), Larry Best (E), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 10:45, 1:25, 4:05, 6:45, 9:25 . Fri 05/13/55 Marty 10:00, 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30 The Mariners (S), Harvey Stone ©, Pat Boone (S), Hoctor & Byrd (D), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:39, 2:09, 4:39, 7:09, 9:39 . Fri 05/27/55
Run For Cover 9:15, 12:00, 2:45, 5:30, 8:15, 10:55 Gary Crosby (S), Louis Armstrong (E), Delores Hawkins (S), Excess Baggage (?), Honey Girls (?), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:00, 1:44, 4:29, 7:14, 9:55 . Fri 06/10/55 Sea Chase 9:15, 12:00, 2:50, 5:40, 8:30, 11:20 McGuire Sisters (S), Mickey Sharp (?), The Langs (?), Frankie Lester (S), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:10, 2:00, 4:50, 7:40, 10:25 . Fri 06/24/55 The Seven Little Foys 9:15, 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 7:55, 10:40 Dorothy Collins (S), Four Lads (S), Georgie Kaye ©, The Shyrettos (A), Carl Sands & Orchestra. 11:00, 1:45, 4:20, 6:55, 9:40 Bob Hope in person on the 24th at the 11:00, 6:55, 9:40 Shows . Fri 07/08/55 We’re No Angels 9:15, 11:55, 2:35, 5:15, 7:55, 10:35 Bill Haley & Comets (S), Peggy King (S), Bobby Sargent (?), Rudy Cardenas (J), Carl Sands & Orchestra. 11:05, 1:45, 4:25, 7:05, 9:45 . Fri 07/22/55 The Kentuckian 9:15, 11:50, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:25 Four Aces (S), Stan Fisher (?), Bob McFadden (E), Ernie Richman & The Mannequins (?), Carl Sands & Orchestra. 11:00, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:35 . Fri 08/05/55 Pete Kelly’s Blues 8:30, 11:00, 1:30, 4:00, 6:30, 9:05, 11:35 Eydie Gorme (S), Somethin Smith & The Redheads (S), Elsa & Waldo ©, Art Mooney & Orchestra. 10:00, 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:15, 10:45 . Fri 08/19/55 You’re Never Too Young 9:15, 12:00, 2:45, 5:30, 8:15, 10:55 Howard Miller (E), Pat Boone (S), Felicia Sanders (S), Lenny Dee (Mu), Yonely (E), Hi-Lo’s (S), Della Reese (S), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:05, 1:50, 4:35, 7:20, 10:05 (The entertainers for this date will be rechecked for accuracy, seems to be too many) . Fri 09/02/55 Female On The Beach 9:30, 12:10, 2:50, 5:30, 8:10, 10:45 Patti Page (S), Jay Lawrence (E), Boyd Bennett & His Rockets (B), Nicki & Noel (D), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 11:15, 1:55, 4:35, 7:15, 10:00 Rudy Noel Clavijo . Fri 09/16/55 McConnell Story 9:15, 12:05, 2:55, 5:50, 8:40, 11:30 Nat King Cole (S), Lillian Briggs (S), Gary Morton ©, Clark Bros (?), Carl Sands & Orchestra. 11:10, 2:05, 4:55, 7:50, 10:40 . Fri 09/30/55 Blood Alley 9:30, 12:40, 3:55, 7:05, 10:20 Julius LaRosa (S), Connee Boswell’s Paulette Sisters (S), Artie Dann ©, Phil Lawrence & Mitzi (?), Carl Sands & Orchestra. 11:50, 3:05, 6:15, 9:30 . Fri 10/14/55 My Sister Elleen 9:00, 11:45, 2:35, 5:20, 8:10, 11:00 Joni James (S), Florian Zabach (Ms), Sonny Till & His Orioles (S), Guy Marks ©, Rich Gibson (Mu), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 10:45, 1:35, 4:20, 7:10, 10:00 . Fri 10/28/55 Sincerely Yours (Liberace, big movie crowd on opening day) 7:45, 10:26, 1:07, 3:48, 6:29, 9:10, 11:50 The Hilltoppers & Jimmy Sacca (?), Nick Noble (?), The Lassies (?), Lenny Culyer ©, Art Van Damme Quintet (S), Louis Basil & Orchestra. 9:35, 12:16, 2:57, 5:38, 8:19, 11:00 Last Stage Show . Fri 11/11/55 Guys & Dolls Gala Premiere @ 8 PM, Marlon Brando & Gene Simmons Attended, Huge Crowd Outside For Marlon. Opening Day: 10:00, 12:43, 3:26, 6:09, 9:02, 11:45 Other Days: 9:00, 11:42, 2:24, 5:06: 7:48, 10:30 No Stage Show. Movie Played Until January 1956. Usher Staff & Patronage greatly reduced thereafter. . Next Movie: The Benny Goodman Story My last movie as an Usher in Jan 56. . End of 1955 year: Usher staff reduced to aprox 6-per shift, 2-shifts per day. Full-timers day time, part-timers evenings & weekends, Total about 20-ushers. Aprox 6-officers (Chief, Captains & Lieutenants, all part-timers). Less of other staff. . Compiled from the Chicago Public Library microfilm newspaper (Sun-Times) archives by JPH. I am working on earlier dates.

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman commented about Laugh Factory on Dec 2, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Add to my last comment. The Lake Shore had a full marquee, full width & out to the curb. I assume that it is still the same one that is covered up.

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman commented about Laugh Factory on Dec 2, 2016 at 3:08 pm

I lived & grew up, in this neighborhood (Belmont & Broadway) from 1945 to 1970. Attended Nettlehorst grade school. I saw many movies at the Lake Shore throughout that time period. Although small, it was a very neat, well kept theater, but without the ginger-bread, exterior had an exterior art-deco motif back then. Curved smoothed metal siding, colors were yellow & red. The front had a small independent 1-person ticket booth, now removed. A small door in the rear of the booth provided access and to the front theater doors behind. People could walk all the way around the booth, although narrow about 3-foot wide passage. Movie posters along the sides. Originally had greater seating, but I understand some seats were removed so as to enlarge the stage. The street had plenty of small shops. On the SE corner was a Wallgreens, later it became Rickeys Restaurant in the late 50s. Evergreen market started small and grew to encompass the NE corner, absorbing Duke The Florist. The area was rich in movie theaters, within walking distance to us kids in the 6 to 14 year range or so. They were the Essex (Sheridan & Pinegrove), Vogue (Broadway & Grace), Mode & Sheridan (Sheridan & Irving), Buckingham (Clark & Buckingham), Julian (Belmont & Wilton), Vic (Sheffield & Belmont), Century & Parkway (Diversey & Clark), Covent (Clark & Drummond). The Julian would not allow access if we were armed cap guns. We also took streetcars or our bikes to other theaters, Belmont, Biograph, Uptown, Rivera, Panthalon, Lakeside & many others. This neighborhood was very cosmopolitan. East of Broadway heavily Jewish & Catholic. West was mostly Catholic & Protestant. Sheffield & Clark was a Swedish (aprox 10%) neighborhood that extended all around, knew may kids with a Swedish last name, Larson, Swanson, Nelson etc. Many Swedish eateries. Winter time, all of us used the indoor swimming pool in the Swedish community center on Wilton just north of Belmont. They were very nice to all of the neighborhood kids. During that era, I attended, as a guest, most of the worship places, Catholic, Jewish & Protestant in the area.

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman commented about Lindy Theatre on Oct 13, 2015 at 7:07 am

There was another Lindy theater in Chicago. Located at aprox 1720 Madison St. & the photo on this link says aprox 1937, of which I concur with that date.

http://thetrolleydodger.com/2015/10/12/more-chicago-pcc-photos-part-four/

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman commented about Harvard Theatre on Apr 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

Here is a photo I found of the Harvard Theater. Taken from the Harvard EL Station on the Englewood route. https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/img802.jpg Hope this link works, if not I have the image on my hard drive. If there is a way to embed this photo, let me know.

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman commented about Julian Theater on Jan 11, 2015 at 5:28 pm

I am from this neighborhood, lived in this area from 1946 to 1970 with many visits afterwards. It had a large Swedish population (aprox 10 to 20%) back then. A Swedish social club nearby, with a large pool, opened to the public. And some Swedish restaurants also. Us kids used to go there on Saturday for the matinee. Cartoons, Serials (from the 30s), Westerns etc. We would sneak our guns inside. It was a mad house.

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman commented about Balaban and Katz book on Mar 17, 2005 at 10:14 pm

Hi David
If you are interested, I can provide you with a personal critique of Chicago Theater usher operations in 1955 & 56, which included the last year of the stage shows and commencing with the movie format.
I was employed as an usher during those years.
Please let me know if you are interested and I will be more then happy to compose it.
Jim Huffman