Archive for May, 2010

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everybody! I’ve snuck out of real life a day early and am hanging out with the extended Retro Roadfam back up in New England. We’ve got a few fun Retro Roadmap trips planned of course, but we’ll also take time out for our family tradition of remembering the family and friends that are no longer with us.

Memorial Day(Retro Roadgirl taking care of her Great Great Aunt Agga and Uncle Jim)

So while you’re out having fun this weekend don’t forget to remember the folks in your life who are no longer here. And think of the Retro Roadmap type places that you’d miss if they were suddenly gone, and maybe go visit them too.

OK , time to plan today’s adventure before the Retro Roadkids wake up!

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We had a swell breakfast after lunchtime at the bustling Historic Village Diner in Red Hook NY on the way to our Lake George adventure.

Village Diner Phone Photo

The “Historic” sign out the front is incorrect in stating that this is a 1927 Silk City, as our diner go-to-guy Larry Cultrera of Diner Hotline informs us that it is a 1951 model. Also I learned that the sign out front that is meant to look like an official sign from the state, was put there by the diner’s owners. Though it is correct that “Village Diner, or the Half-Way diner was placed on the Historic Registrar in 1988. The first in N.Y.S. and the 4th in the country”

Hopping with vacationers, locals and college kids alike, we were pleased with our meal and service, and I could not stop snappin photos of this gorgeous diner!

Silk City Diner TagVillage Diner Counter
Village Diner Placemat

A few things though you should know- they don’t serve pancakes after 1pm, they DO have real maple syrup for an extra $2, but there are no free refills on drinks. Unfortunately I can’t remember if they take cards, so bring cash just in case. Be in the know, courtesy of the Retro Roadmap!

Historic Village Diner
7550 North Broadway
Red Hook, NY 12571-1450
(845) 758-6232

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I can’t tell you how delighted I was to re-visit Main Street in Newark Delaware to find 3 of my favorite old fashioned businesses still going strong. Next time you need a tasty breakfast, baked goods or random sundries from a 5 and 10, head to this stretch of road near the University of Delaware and enjoy a day on good old Main Street. Just remember it’s New-ARK, like Noah built!

Bing’s Bakery 235 East Main Street

Bing's Bakery Exterior

I used to work across the street from Bing’s and was always charmed by their signage and turquoise, pegboard and knotty pine interior, and was tickled to see that the new owners had not messed with this classic look.
Knotty Pine and Turquoise, I Love It!

Founded in 1946 by Russell and Selina Bing, the bakery changed hands in 2005 when Selina turned the keys over to her head baker of 9 years, Tom Guzzi and his wife, Carla Guzzi. Delaware’s “longest running” bakery was abuzz with customers when I was there, from regulars picking up donuts, to a young couple discussing their wedding cake.
Bing's Bakery Wedding Cakes
A pleasant counter gal helped me buy my bag of sunflower shaped sugar cookies, and when I asked how long the bakery had been there, a wonderfully friendly customer chimed in that her sister had been married in 1959 and got her wedding cake from Bing’s. She added that it was great that this place was still around, being one of the only bakeries left in New Castle County, and I have to agree!
Bing The Baker

Bing’s Bakery
253 East Main Street
Newark, DE 19711-7314
(302) 737-5310

The Post House Restaurant 145 East Main Street

I used to love the simplicity of the Post House restaurant, with its minimalist mid century brick exterior and interior with a long countertop and burgundy banquettes for waiting. Somehow it felt more like a diner than the “real” diner on the next corner!
Post House Restaurant Exterior
Oh how happy I was to find that Retro Roadhusband’s report that the Post House was closed was an error on his part, and this great little lunch counter was still in business! I sat myself down at the counter and ordered myself a breakfast sandwich and reveled in the fact that this place really hadn’t changed much since it opened at this location in 1956.
Post House Restaurant InteriorInteresting counter story- I wasn’t necessarily eves-dropping but I could not help but hear the two gentlemen to my side discussing what I thought was a sports team- only to see when they stood up, that the Sonic they were referring to was the corporate drive in chain, as confirmed by the logo embroidered on one man’s shirt. I thought it was a sweet victory indeed that even the folks making the joy of a car hop restaurant a little bit more generic could appreciate the actual authenticity of a place like the Post House.
Post House Restaurant Counter

Post House Restaurant
145 East Main Street
Newark, DE 19711-7313
(302) 368-3459

National 5 and 10 66 East Main Street

And last but not least, how could I neglect the National 5 and 10 store, with its cheery red sign and fabulous brushed stainless letters?

National 5 & 10 Newark DE
Still family owned and operated, this business has been in the Handloff family since 1911 and at this location since 1931.
Louis Handloff National 5 & 10
I had driven past this location scads of times but rarely ventured in, since I had little interest in purchasing something with the Delaware insignia on it. And boy, do they have plenty of Delawareabilia here at the 5 & 10, more than I’ve ever seen in my life! But luckily for me, they had plenty of other useful items to choose from.
5 & 10 Shopping Carts
Towards the back half of the store it goes from college insiginia-ville to a regular Woolworth type store, with household goods, plastic toys, hardware items and keys to be cut. I happily purchased a couple of yards of clear plastic table covering for the Hacienda kitchen, and think I like the paper liner even more than the vinyl liner!
Tablecloth Liner Liner(However the plastic does come in handy so I can actually use the Pennsylvania Dutch tablecloth I bought at Roadside America, with little fear of messing it up.)

I don’t think the young gent behind the counter shared my admiration of the cashier sign behind him, as I snapped a photo, but who knows? Maybe he’ll look at it with fresh eyes after my exclaiming how cool it was!

Cashiers Pay Here

National 5 & 10 Store
66 East Main Street
Newark, DE 19711
(302) 368-1646

So if you’re in the mood for some real Main Street shopping, don’t go to a faux outdoor mall that calls itself Main Street, support the real deal, on Main Street in Newark Delaware!

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Good news for those of us who love vintage retro and cool old places! The original Retro Roadmap has now become so chock full of vintage goodness that you can no longer view all entries on one map. This means we’ve got a lot of good content, and plenty of great places to visit and support.

Retro Roadmap Magnets!

In order to make sure that Retro Road Fans are able to see all of the entries for an area in one glance I am in the process of creating a Retro Roadmap for each state. It’s easy to view multiple maps at the same time for road trip planning and this will also help me organize all of these great old places more easily.

This is a work in progress, so if you experience anything wonky please let me know, I’ll put on my IT hat and do my best to fix it!

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Who could resist pulling over to snap a photo of such a friendly looking guy? Not me!

Moon Man Elkton MD
The symbol of the family owned and operated Moon Services / Moon Air company, this well known Cecil County mascot certainly is an eye catcher as you cross the border from Delaware to Maryland.

Moon Air Moon Man
1638 Elkton Road
Elkton, MD 21921
(410) 392-9350

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I thought one post might be the easiest way to get the info out about 3 drive in movie theaters in MD, NY and PA since the drive in season is so short. And who can resist a some vintage intermission film enticing us to head to the snack bar? Not me!

Bengies Drive In Movies Baltimore MD

Bengie's Drive In Baltimore MD

Open since 1956 Bengies has one of the more well kept marquees of the drive ins I’ve seen, and to see the amount of heavily worded signage lining the entrance to the theatre (and their website) you can see that the owners are all about the signs. I did not think that the drive in would be totally open for business when I visited it on a sunny Saturday but I had hoped someone might be in the snackbar and willing to sell me one of the tee shirts that I had seen on their website. Alas the signs indicated in no uncertain terms that I should not even think of trying this.

Signs Signs Everywhere Signs Bengies Drive In

However I was TOTALLY unprepared for the lights and alarm sirens that went off as I turned the Retro Roadmap mobile around in the driveway on my way out. It scared the whoozits out of me for sure, and even now thinking about it I get jumpy. Hopefully when we return for a movie I’ll have better news to report and my blood pressure will return to normal :-).

Bengies Drive In Movie Theatre
3417 Eastern Blvd
Middle River, Maryland 21220
(410) 391-1956

Haar’s Drive In Movie Theatre Dillsburg PA

We could only drive past this drive in theatre on the way to someplace else, but its close proximity to Wolfe’s Diner makes it a perfect place for a Retro Roadmap type date. Since the diner was not open the day we were in Dillsburg, Retro Roadhusband and I will head out there for sure for a better report.

Haar's Drive-In Theatre

Open since 1953 Haars is a 1 screen theatre with the added interesting bonus of Friday night auctions as well. They have an on site snack bar with “fresh cut french fries, hot dogs, chicken tenders & nuggets, hamburgers, popcorn, soft serve ice cream” and more. And since we all know that sneaking in food is a no-no, do your part to support this drive in and buy your treats at the snack bar.

Haar’s Drive In
185 Logan Road
Dillsburg, PA 17019-9501
(717) 432-3011

The Glen Drive In Glens Falls NY

We had absolutely no idea that there was a drive in movie theatre just minutes away from our vacation destination of Lake George NY, but knew we had to pull into the Glen Drive In which has been serving the drive in community since 1958 with a double screen option.
The Glen Drive In Theatre

Wish I was awake enough to see the double feature, but I will say that going to the drive in on our vacation was one of the great retro roadmap highlights!

And my fave reason for seeing movies at the drive in? The wonderfully outdated and kitschy intermission reels!

The Glen Drive In
Lake George Rd.
Glens Falls, NY 12804
(518) 792-0023

I hope to some day have every single Drive In in existence featured on the Retro Roadmap, until then Drive-Ins.com is a great resource to look up the drive in movie theatres near you. Now GO!

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What to do when you want to preserve and renovate your downtown movie theatre but the building is too far gone? Do what Ephrata PA did, and save as much of the vintage neon, chandeliers and vintage charm as you can, before the place falls apart, then display them for all to enjoy!

Main Street Theater Ephrata PA

While the building that now contains the Main Street Theatre is “vintage 1993”, I have to hand it to the folks of Ephrata for preserving as much of the old theatre’s pieces to incorporate into this new structure that sits on the site of the old theatre.

Main Theatre Ephrata PA - Before

Like this cool brushed steel ticket booth for example!

Ticket Booth Main Theatre Ephrata PA

And this swell art deco chandelier:


And cool curved glass blocks and etched mirror:

Main Theatre Art Deco Glass Block

I know from first hand experience living in a town with a downtown movie house how a place like this can become a central part of a community, and think it is cool that the builders of the Brossman building even considered putting a theatre into this space. With a covered parking garage in the back and a great restaurant on the 3rd floor (Lily’s on Main) it’s a great place to go for dinner and a movie!

Main Theatre Tickets

And if the wonderful artifacts saved from Ephrata’s old movie houses inspires new film goers to check out some of the wonderful vintage theatres still in existence (and keeps ’em out of the mega screen boxes ) well wouldn’t that be nice?

Ephrata Main Theatres
124 East Main Street
Ephrata, PA 17522
(717) 733-9098‎

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