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Posts Tagged ‘family fun’

I think I’m still a little sad about yesterday’s post regarding old theatres that don’t make it, so here’s some holiday cheer coming from my local historic movie theater The Colonial Theatre in downtown Phoenixville, PA. Christmas movies and holiday music – live and on the big screen!

The Colonial Christmas

Here are some of the holiday films and events coming up at The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA  this December!

City Rhythm Orchestra Holiday Style –  Sun Dec 5th 7:30pm

The 15-piece City Rhythm Orchestra presents Holiday Style, a big band concert that’s a perfect way to start the yuletide season!

City Rhythm Orchestra

A Christmas Story – Sat, Dec 11, 2:00 pm
A Christmas Story grasps the full scope of childhood injustice and obsession. A BB Gun! A Leg Lamp! You name it, they want it!

A Christmas Story Colonial Theatre Phoenixville PA

The Theatre Organ Society of the Delaware Valley Holiday Musical Extravaganza -Sun, Dec 12, 2:00 pmJoin TOSDV on the second of four shakedown cruises of the Colonial’s Wurlitzer 3/24 Opus 585. The concert will feature members of the TOSDV family performing holiday and seasonal favorites, along with a special holiday silent movie.

TOSDV Organ Concert Colonial Theatre Phoenixville PA

It’s a Wonderful Life Sun, Dec 19, 2:00 pm
Not a big success at the time of its release, it’s gone on to become one of the most popular movies ever made. One of Mod Betty’s favorite Phoenixville holiday traditions is seeing this on the big screen!

White Christmas Sun, Dec 26, 2:00 pm
“White Christmas” is a cracking musical….warm, sweet, and perfect for wasting a winter afternoon.”

Now that’s better! Fun stuff to look forward to!

The Colonial Theatre
227 Bridge St
Phoenixville, PA 19460
610-917-0223

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I’m posting about the Leavitt Theatre in Ogunquit ME out of chronological order, because it closes for the season soon after the summer is over and I want you all to have enough time to visit this swell seaside movie house!

Leavitt Theatre Ogunquit ME

The Leavitt Theatre is in the town of Ogunquit Maine, which is an easy exit off of the Maine Turnpike / 95, soon after you cross over from New Hampshire. I’ve got a bit of an “in” at the Leavitt as my uncle Kevin has been a projectionist there since 1974, and is still up in the booth one night a week. (Here’s a photo of Kevin I happened to find on the Leavitt’s Facebook Page!)

kevin-hickey-leavitt-theatre-ogunquit-maine-1991“1991 photo of Kevin Hickey in the Leavitt Theatre projection booth. Kevin has been a projectionist here since 1974! He still keeps the equipment running smoothly. He completely overhauled the booth with newer projectors in 2003.”


When I let him know that I’d be in the area he was happy to bring my friend Jeannie and me on a behind the scenes tour of the theatre. Lucky us!
leavitt-theatre-front-ogunquit-me-retro-roadmap

(Kevin says they rue the day that someone planted these trees in front- they were supposed to remain tiny, but they’ve grown to obscure the front of the theatre. While the tree hugger in me says let’em be, the photographer in me says- cut’em down, they’re getting in the way of a good picture!)

In chatting with owner Peter Clayton, who has owned the theatre since 1976, he says that the theatre, built in 1923, is thought to be the oldest continually running business in the town of Ogunquit, and I’m glad to hear that it had never closed down or had to turn towards “other sorts of programming” to stay afloat. Indeed I’m also glad to learn that because the Leavitt is a seasonal theatre they are able to get first run movies and play them for a few days at a time, so vacationers staying for a week can see a number of movies during their short stay.

Leavitt Theatre Ogunquit ME Ticket Booth

Peter’s family all have worked at the theatre in one capacity or another, from selling tickets from the booth (and needing a step stool to reach the ticket window) to selling popcorn with real melted butter atop. I myself spent a short bit of my early teen days here at the Leavitt when I was staying with family up here one summer. I remember seeing Airplane for the first time (this is dumb) and the second time (hey this is kinda funny) and the third time (OMG this movie is HYSTERICAL!) at the Leavitt.
Leavitt Theatre Ogunquit ME Vintage Poster 1939
In walking (or limping in my case) down the incline towards the stage Kevin points out that all of the 600 seats are original but many have been reupholstered to add more padding for the comfort of us modern folks. One of the things that I’m thrilled to see they didn’t tamper with were the wire hat racks attached below many of the seats, so gentlemen would have a place to stow his hat during the show, for the comfort of the folks back in the hat wearing days.

Leavitt Theatre Ogunquit ME Seat with Hat Rack

The auditorium itself is not opulent, but has clean simple lines, something you’d expect to see in Maine. While the look may still be old fashioned, the sound system has been upgraded to Dolby Surround Sound, and we learned from Kevin about the Cinemascope and regular type movies, which they’re equipped to play both. I very much enjoyed the unusual vantage point looking out on Route 1 from the window of the projection booth!

Leavitt Theatre Ogunquit ME From Projection Booth

In reading some of the articles Peter was kind enough to lend me, I was dismayed to read that they don’t seem to get a lot of locals coming to the cinema, and instead it’s mainly (MAINE-LY!) tourists and vacationers. C’mon local folks, you don’t realize how good it is to have a movie house on your main street until it’s gone! Don’t take it for granted! Everyone one and all, make sure to support this independently owned, family run, continually operating 85+ year old theatre. And if you don’t live near the Leavitt, make sure you support your closest independently owned theatre- these days we’re all on a shoestring, but the family run businesses get hit harder than the big corporate multiplexes. Wouldn’t you want to see your money go into helping the Clayton family keep this movie cinema going, and not just lining the coffers of some giant conglomerate? I don’t like to get all preachy, but you know what I mean.

OK, I’m off the soap box I promise, and on to the “hey check this out” department:

As I turned the page of a York County Coast Star article about the Leavitt from 7/8/2004 (that is not online though I was ready to link to it), I recognized a movie title even though it was a film I’ve never even seen. Does that ring a bell with any regular Retro Roadmap Readers?

Leavitt Theatre Ogunquit ME Trapped In A Submarine

In a moment of kismet, I realized that was the same film that I had seen a poster from and snapped a photo of further down the east coast in Barnegat NJ! Cool stuff, huh? Neat when stuff comes together like that!
Trapped In a Submarine

So please- if you’re on Route 95 in Maine, driving past, or staying nearby for the week- maybe you’re on a first date in Portsmouth NH and you want to do something totally wacky and memorable- get yourself over to the Leavitt Theatre on Main Street in Ogunquit and help continue the tradition of this being the oldest continually running business in town!

The Leavitt Theatre
259 Main Street / Route 1
Ogunquit, ME 03907
(207) 646-3123

Like The Leavitt Theatre on Facebook!

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As a final installment of “Oh The Fun We Had” with the Retro Roadkids, I bring you vintage miniature golf fun courtesy of Waltz Golf Farm in Limerick PA. A swell family destination that has grown to include 2 miniature golf courses, par 3, batting cages a snack bar and more,  my favorite part of it is their original mini golf course known as the Farm course. Wilkum!

Wilkum to Waltz Mini Golf

in 1964 The Waltz family converted their corn farm into a golf center and the Farm course has all the quaint things you’d expect from old timey miniature golf. There’s a bridge, a wishing well, a school house with doors that open and close, and more.

Wheel Barrow Mini Golf (Watch out! The wheel barrow tips!)

Though some folks may prefer the more modern Castle mini golf with its waterfalls and castle, I’m happy to see that Waltz still keeps its original old fashioned charm with touches like the stone Pennsylvania farm house, and the hex sign on the barn.
Mini Golf Stone House

I think the best thing about the old fashioned courses versus the more “challenging” modern ones is that the old ones  bring us the results we really come here for – a RetroRoadkid THRILLED with his Hole In One!
Retro Roadkid Gets Hole in One(“Mumma I got a Hole In One!”)

Alas, the snack bar, built in 1972 no longer carries the Broasted chicken that the backlit Pepsi sign on the roadside touts, but luckily we have Speck’s and the Hilltop to fill that void. But they do have ice cream and other treats to celebrate your mini golf victories!

Waltz Golf Farm
303 West Ridge Pike
Limerick, PA 19468
(610) 489-9922

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