Re: Surf Theater in the 60's

02/25/04 - posted by Steve Aguado

As a teen I moved with my family to the 1200 block of 46th Avenue in 1940. In those days, before its incarnation as the "Surf" it was named The "Sunset." It's funny how memory works, for I still remember the first film I saw there. It was "High Sierra" starring Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lapino.

My buddy, Gil Small(who also lived on the 1200 block)was the doorman. The Wolff family owned the theater then, managed by Eliot and his father. Most nights one would see Eliot,(who was our age)dressed in a tuxedo, greeting with alacrity all who entered within. He also presided, each week, over a game of chance which, as I remember, Involved a spinning wheel. If you won, he paid-off by dropping silver dollars into a metal bucket. A rich clanking sound well designed to make us all feel flush.

We called this kind of theater "A Long Bowling Alley." Perhaps because it was all on one level, with a center aisle between two rows of seats. No lodges there. Assuring an egalitarian mean for all. In any case, I don't ever remember anyone rolling a bowling ball down the aisle toward the screen.

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