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I attended the last burlesque performance at the old Grand. I think I was 17 at the time, and you had to be 18 to get in, unless you were big tall enough to pass for 18. I remember the small orchestra, probably no more than 6 men, and they all wore tuxedos. hanging off the front of the stage near the orchestra leader was a lanyard with a whistle on it, i don’t know if that was used for effect after some of the worlds worse jokes by Billy Zoot Reed, and the like., or they blew it when the cops raided the place so the girls could get their clothes on, During intermission, you were invited to walk next door to the York Hotel Bar and meet the ladies. Since i wasn’t old enough to be in the Grand, I sure wasn’t old enough to be in the bar, darn the bad luck !
Back in the 50’s my neighbor on Alfred Ave. told me that when the Granada was being built, they had the front wall up (just the structural brick) and a windstorm came up one night and laid the wall all across Gravois Ave.
I lived down on Alfred Ave. and attended the ARMO. I remember the price as 10 cents, and if you gave them 6 RC bottle caps, you got a ticket for a free cup of RC Cola. The floor was pea gravel and I believe the seats were wood individual fold down type. Just before the movie started, an usher would walk up on stage and pull back large panels on both sides of the screen which protected the speakers from the weather. The building right next to the north was a bakery with an upstairs apartment. I remember that everytime I was at the ARMO, the woman who lived upstairs was out on her back porch sitting in a lawn chair watching the movie for free.The Cook
market building has been redone and is like a small strip mall and extends all the way over to what used to be Becktolds market, the bakery is gone. The last movie I saw there was “The Creature from
the Black Lagoon”. I was 6 years old, it scared me half to death.
It was on one of the movie channels last year when I was surfin
around, so i watched a few minutes, this time I almost laughed
myself half to death.
If you guyshaven’t been down on Morgenford lately, it’s coming back to life with restaurants, grocery stores, furniture stores and other shops, and the neighbor hood is generally coming back slowly, the homes being rehabbed,etc.