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In regards to Odette Bery (one r in her surname, not two), my mother worked under her as a line cook for her Beacon Hill restaurant, Another Season. I know Another Season is out of buisiness, I’m not sure why, and can’t recall when it died (my mother stopped working for her in the mid 80’s, and left the food biz shortly after that.) I do know Lala Rokh is now where it used to be-and you can still see vestiges of the former place. After Another Season, I believe that she went to teach at BU for a while, in the early 90’s, as well as making pasties and nibbles for wine tastings at Brookline Liquor Mart. Then sometime around 1995, she was managing another establishment called Pudding it First-a pudding parlor. Opened by Don Perrin it was like an ice cream store, only they served a large variety of puddings. This store was in the Coolidge Corner Theater building and didn’t last long. Now, last I heard, she’s the chef/manager at Collins Cafe in the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. For a while, she was teaching cooking at Another Season, but that stopped, not sure why (she might not have had the proper licensing to conduct cooking classes.) I did study a little under Odette as a child, and always liked her. Also, she did author a book, “The Another Season Cookbook”, which is esstentially a collection of recipes of dishes served at her establishment. It’s actually quite good, with tips and lessons as well as some menu suggestions. Haven’t seen her in well over a decade, but I remember her as being really nice, as well as an amazing chef.
I live not far from Brighton Center, and I can say, that Elks Lodge is a sorry eyesore. I think there are some pics in their lobby of the old Egyptian. Also, there’s a restaurant near by with a few pics of the exterior hanging up. I think the exterior was redone at least once before the place was demolished-perhaps there was a renovation in the 40’s?
As a child, my father took the family to see all three Star Wars movies there. I also recall having seen “Fantasia” there, and I think we saw “Return to Oz” there as well. My father’s a bit of an AV snob, so for the really big event movies, he’d find the bestest sound and picture, and at that time, I remember the Charles had the biggest screen around (the second was the Coolidge, no?)-but sound wasn’t quite as important in theaters then as it is now. Another random Charles memory was seeing the trailer for “9 to 5” there-boy was I excited to see that movie.
As to Narcissus (or Narsyphillus as we used to call it when I was at BU from 90-91) it was a complex. Back in the 80’s, I used to hear radio ads on WBCN for the big three, Lipstick, Celebration and Narcissus. I recall, a rumor for a time was that where Narcissus stood, was supposed to be turned into a movie theater-but then it was turned into a GAP, which I think is now a Bertucci’s. It looked impossibly sleazy, but I did regret never having ventured in ‘fore it was closed-just to at least see the place. Even The Palace was a sleazefest, but the couple of times I was there it had a certain charm. In any event, I truly miss the Nick. I saw many a great film there, including “Heathers” when it first opened (that was due to my being a huge Winnona Ryder fan at the time) and “The Last Days of Disco”. My best Nick memory though was their Comm Ave sign. Once, when they were playing “Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead”, the marquee read on one side, “Rosencrantz is dead” and on the other side, “So’s Gildenstern.”
Incidentally, I have to agree with Ligg’s posting about BU. Yes, the policies of BU were impossibly draconian at that time. In fact, my understanding was that BU was declared one of the top ten most promiscuous schools in the country by Playboy (but I could totally be wrong about this.) I was a student then too, and I found the dorm policies loathesome. In fact, I can recall voting for Silber for governor, to get him the hell outta BU.
I’ve seen an exhibit of Dave’s collection at The Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington a couple of years ago. It was all about the history of neon signs, and Dave’s got most of the iconic ones (such as the Naked-i, wich was NOT on display.)
I lived in Allston from 1991 until 2000, and I went to the Allston fairly regularly. In the early part of the 90’s, they were a fairly respectable late first run house-I caught films like “Hero” there. I say late first run, as I recall the prices were first run, $7.50 or so, a little expensive for a second run move in the early 90’s. But I would usually catch matinees there for movies that I wanted to see, but not so bad I wanted to pay full price. Torwards the end of its life as a Showcase Theater, it definately turned into a dumping ground. Both “Fair Game” and “Barb Wire” both played there during their initial releases. I also remember that films generally only played there a week, come hell or high water. I never managed to make it to any of the Bollywood pics there, but I do remember both that, and the “Allston Underground” series. I believe that some staffers from the Coolidge were programming at the Allston before it closed for good (perhaps Clint?) My most vivid memory was catching an evening of vintage stag films there one late night, around 2003 or so. Despite the fact that the place was an eyesore and as generic as a movie theater could be, I was truly saddened to see it demolished for a Staples. To me, that box was the lesser of two evils. As ugly as that place was, I had fond memories of it.