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I spent a lot of hours standing behind that red ticket machine and helping out behind the candy counter when the rushes were on.
This is the obituary of my very first employer. I worked for him from December 1951 through mid May ,1955. I stared as an usher and some time in 1954 he made me his assistant. I picked up Rebecca Ann Poisal there, she worked as a candy girl. Becky ultimately became Mrs. Donald Morton. Ted taught my many things, most of which were of a positive nature. I regret that I did not stay in touch with him over the years. As young adults that type of thing does not occur important to you.
Ted Myzejewski, age 93, of Hammond, IN, formerly of East Chicago, passed away Thursday, May 3, 2012. He is survived by Beverly Kaminski; Frank (Karen) Kaminski; Joe (Debbie) Kaminski; William (Linda) Kaminski; Wanda (Dominick) Romano; Catherine (David) Miller; Mary (Tom) Dodgson; and many grand and great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his life partner, Mary Kaminski; sister, Harriet Myzejewski; and brother, Peter Myzejewski. A Mass of Christian burial will be held 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at St. John Bosco, Hammond, IN with Fr. Richard Orlinski officiating. Burial will be at St. John/ St. Joseph Cemetery, Hammond, IN. Visitation will be Tuesday, May 8, 2012 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. at Burns- Kish Funeral Home, 8415 Calumet Ave., Munster, IN. Ted was a WWII veteran. He was the former owner of the Calumet Theater and formerly owned banana plantations in Cuba. He retired from Inland Steel. He was a member of both St. Joseph church and St. John Bosco. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Boy Scouts and St. Joseph’s Soup Kitchen in his loving memory. He will be dearly missed by his loving family. www.burnskish.com Published in The Times from May 6 to May 7, 2012
“I took my first girlfriend-date to the Ted’s Calumet Theater & went steady for a week. Thank you…”
– Mike Kovacich (Hammond, IN)
Burns Kish Funeral Home
My posting of 2/26/12 had an error the name of the movie. It was not “High Pockets”. The name was “I Was an American Spy” is a true story,and was released in 1951 based on a series of autobiographical Reader’s Digest articles written by Claire Phillips. Ann Dvorak stars as Ms. Phillips, an American nightclub singer trapped in Singapore when the Japanese march in. Having lost her husband to the Bataan death march, Phillips agrees to join an American secret agent (Gene Evans) in undermining the Japanese occupation troops. She is captured by the enemy, tortured, and sentenced to be shot, but is rescued at the last minute by her American contact. I Was an American Spy handles its more brutal scenes with a marked degree of tastefulness, thanks to the careful direction of Lesley Selander. Just as in their wartime movie appearances, Chinese actor Richard Loo and Korean actor Philip Ahn are eminently hissable as the Japanese villains. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
My best friend at Lafayette and Tech was Kenny
Dodd. I got into more fist fights protecting him than anyone could imagine. He was the smallest and one of the smartest people in our class. I had Mr. Hinsley, Miss Owens and Miss Fund as teachers while at Lafayette. Did you know Harry Coles his parents ran People Coal Co. which sat next to the Nickle Plate Tracks and almost in back of All Saints Church. One night while at work at the Calumet and after the box office closed, Ken came by with his girl friend. Don’t remember her name. She was the only girl he ever dated, I believe. She was fifteen and Ken was barely eighteen and they told me they were going to Kentucky to get married. I tried to talk them out of the idea, but to no avail. They had a set of twin boys, moved to the southwest for health needs of the boys and ultimately got a divorce. Ken is now in Tusan (spl) Arizona. Haven’t heard from in about a year now.
THE FIRST PICTURE I SAW AT THE CALUMET THEATER ON MY OWN AND BEFORE I WORKED THERE WAS KING SOLOMONS MINES WITH STEWARD GRANGER IN THE LEADING ROLE, I THINK.
If it is the Donnie Martin I am thinking of; I knew him as will as you could know anyone who was not family. He was one of the two Janitors at the Calumet Theater when I worked there. The other being Delbert Knedrick(not sure I have the name spelled correctly). They both helped take the seats out of the Mars Theater and install them in the Calumet Theater. I vaguely recall a Joe Willett in Mr Hinsley home room. I’ll have to take a look at the 51 Lafayette graduation program. If my memory serves me correctly he was somewhat thin and very quite. Gerald Markley doesn’t ring a bell, but I knew a Jean Markley (could that have been his sister)who lived on Erie Street and hung out at the Calumet a lot. At my fiftieth class reunion I found out that she had a crush and was sweet on me. When my wife heard that, the hair on the back of her neck really brusseled with jealousy.
I WAS IN THIS THEATER ONE TIME,IN ABOUT 1954, AFTER IT WAS CLOSED. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW LONG IT HAD BEEN CLOSED. TED MYJEWSKI, WHO OWNED THE CALUMET THEATER IN HAMMOND, INDIANA HAD PURCHASED THE SEATS AND I WAS THERE TO HELP REMOVE THEM FROM THE MARS THEATER AND INSTALL THEM IN THE CALUMET. AS I RECALL WE MUST HAVE ARRIVED THERE AROUND NINE AM ON A WEEK DAY AND FINISHED REMOVING THEM AND LOADING THEM INTO A RENTED CARGO VAN AROUND FOUR AM THE NEXT DAY. THERE WERE ABOUT FIVE OF US NOT COUNTING MR. MYJEWSKI. MR. M BOUGHT US LUNCH AND DINNER. AS I RECALL BURGERS, FRIES, AND FOUNTAIN POP. THREE PEOPLE RODE IN THE CAB AND THREE OF US RODE IN THE BACK ALONG WITH THE SEATS. IT’S A WONDER THE LOAD DIDN’T SHIFT AND INJURED ONE IF NOT ALL OF US.
I to went to Lafayette and graduated from there in June 1951. I went to Tech and graduated in 1955. My wife went to Hammond High. It is very likely that our paths crossed in 1952 at the Calumet. I don’t recall a lot of fist run movies at the Calumet, but you may be right about those two. I wore glasses. Still do. Our outfits were sports coats and Black slack and shoes, we did not have regular usher uniforms at that time (did in later years). Ted Myjewski who my boss and in a way my father at work taught me many thing, some bad, but mostly good things. Ted Had the guys doing the maintenance and repair work during the day on Saturdays till about four pm. I would then have to hurry home(Sherman Street) shower and change into my work cloths and try to get back to the theater around five thirty or six o'clock. I think we opened at six thirty. I’ll try to post some interior photos that were taken of me
and other staff members; if I can figure out how to do it.
I am posting this for my wife. I found it hand written on my key board this morning.
My name is Rebecca (Poisal) Morton and I have a story to tell about the Calumet Theater. It was not always a “prono” house! It gave me one of my first jobs as a candy girl and I sold tickets during my junior year of high school at Hammond High in 1956. They ran first run movies in those days and it was there I met my Husband of 55 years. Mr, Ted Myjewski was my boss and thought a lot of my husband. He treated his employees with a lot of respect and gave us quite a bit of job responsibility (My husband has his own story to tell about that). Mr. M loved that theater and he never wanted to sell it, His health gave out and he ended up in a Hammond nursing home. During those later years he didn’t have the finances to keep it up and it slowly began to decay and crumble with age.
I WENT TO MOVIES THERE TILL I WAS ABOUT TWELVE YEARS OLD WHICH WOULD BE ABOUT 1949. THE LAST PICTURE I SAW THERE WAS A WAR MOVIE WITH A PACIFIC THEATER SETTING. IT WAS CALLED “HIGH POCKETS”. I HAD A FRIEND NAMED “DONALD SMITH' WHO USHERED THERE. IT WAS NOT LOCATED WHERE THE ABOVE MAP SHOWS IT TO BE.IT WAS WEST OF SOHL STREET ON STATE STREET JUST EAST OF THE RAILROAD TRACKS IN DOWNTOWN HAMMOND, JUST BEFORE YOU GOT TO HOHMAN AVENUE, AND ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF STATE.
I WORKED THERE FROM DECEMBER 1951 THROUGH MAY 1955. AS I RECALL WE HAD FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY FOUR SEATS. THE SEATS IN THE ABOVE PICTURE WERE USED (CAME OUT OF THE MARS THEATER IN INDIANA HARBOR) AND I HELPED TAKE THEM OUT OF THE MARS AND INSTALL THEM IN 1954; AS I RECALL. THE PICTURE WAS TAKEN AT THE LOBBY DOOR OF THE MIDDLE AISLE LOOKING WEST TOWARD THE SCREEN. IT WAS A SECOND RUN THEATER WHEN I WORKED THERE,CATERING TO A NEIGHBORHOOD CLIENTELE. WE DID GET IVANHOE FIRST RUN AND THAT REALLY UPSET THE TWO MAIN DOWNTOWN THEATERS (PARAMOUNT AND PARTHENON). SOMETIME IN THE NINETEEN EIGHTIES(I THINK THAT’S THE TIME FRAME) IT HOUSED A CHURCH. IT WAS ONE OF TWO THEATERS STILL STANDING IN HAMMOND,INDIANA WHEN IT CAME DOWN UNDER THE WREAKING BALL. THE OTHER THEATER IS IN THE HESSVILLE SECTION OF HAMMOND AND I THINK IT’S DESIGNATED AS A NATIONAL LANDMARK. IT SADDENS ME TO SEE THAT WAS TORN DOWN, FOR A LOT OF MY YOUTH AND HISTORY IS INTERTWINED WITH THAT OF THE CALUMET. THAT IS WHERE I MET MY WIFE: IN FACT I PICKED HER UP ONE EVENING IN SEPTEMBER 1955. IF ANYONE WANTS TO COMMUNICATE ABOUT THE CALUMET WITH ME; I’M ON FACEBOOKS. MY NAME IS DONALD L MORTON.