Television Radio and Movie Theaters





            When young much of my life centered around a radio.Radio was my form

of entertainment.With the radio I was able to listen to stories of mystery,horror,

comedy,drama and music.We had comediennes such as Fanny Brice starring as

Baby Snooks. Gang Busters,The Green Hornet,Superman,Captain Midnight,

and an endless amount of radio shows that always entertained me.The more imagination

you had, the better the show.Lux Soap presented the latest Hollywood movies in short form.Then in the

middle

forties a movie came out at the local theaters and everyone went

running.It was a blockbuster at the time and starred a young actor by the name of

Larry Parks.Larry played Al Jolson in the “Jolson Story”.After seeing the movie umpteen

times, Jolson appeared on his own radio show.The Al Jolson Show was probably the last

radio show I ever listened to because Television had arrived in our homes.The radio shows began to disappear

off

the air.They had been replaced by good old TV.There was

only one problem though.Once you took a look at the actors they would be a very big

disappointment to many.What we had imagined had now turned to reality and that didn’t

seem too great – at least not to me.The first TV my Parents bought was called a Garrad.It had

a round screen much like a ships port hole.It was black and white and most stations were

coming in very snowy due to poor TV reception.I wish I had a nickel for the many times

my Dad would go up to the roof to adjust the TV antenna.My Mom would be on the

bottom floor of a six family tenement and she would assist by yelling up to me on the top

floor landing whether the reception was OK or not.Then I would climb the steel ladder

to the roof entrance and stick my head out and yell to my Dad,”OK or Fuzzy”!He kept

turning the anntena until we had it setup properly.This went on all the time probably

because the antenna on the roof was affected by the wind and once turned would lose

it’s tracking.

      Now a movie theater was the way to go.The theaters had a splendor to them.Much like little radio city

music

halls.Large Mirrors,beautiful carpeting,marble walls.They

had paintings and art deco on the walls.Many had an organ player who played for lyrics

on the movie screen with a bouncing ball going over the lines in the lyrics.Everyone

would sing the songs.You felt like a millionaire.There were always two features shown.

Along with this could be numerous cartoons and shorts and a newsreel.

   Unlike today where a theater simply is part of a multiplex with numerous movies

being shown.No art deco,no mirrors,nothing fancy at all.What happened to the Balcony,

and where is the loge?Only a few trailers(we called them ‘coming attractions’)and one

feature.The Theaters I describe were most likely owned by RKO or Loews.They were

usually a little more classier than the local movie houses nearby.If you wanted real

upscale then you traveled to Downtown Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Paramount or the

Fox Theater.They were humongous theaters and the best places to see a new arrival

of a feature movie.Even better would be to New York City to the Roxy,The Paramount,

and so many more.Those were more money of course.About fifty cents.