Re: The Parkside Movie Theatre

08/16/02 - posted by Jim Mullany

I grew up on 19th and Vicente in the 1950s and regulary attended the kiddies matinees at the Parkside Theater. At the time it was still one of the those grand theaters of that era. I recall they would play comedies like Ma and Pa Kettle movies, Francis the Talking Mule, Abbott and Costello films and some old monster movies. It was a mad house on the main floor of the theater becasue it was packed with unsupervised kids of all ages. I recall that we were charged a quarter for an afternoon's entertainment. The kids would sail flattened pop corn boxes and candy at each other, while ushers with flashlights tried to maintain order. I recall that the balconey was only for kids with their mothers. Well, kids were always trying to sneak up there so they could pelt the kids below with candy and ice. Of course, any kid who came with his mother was subject to great ridicule by his friends. The Parkside also showed 2nd run double features in the evenings and the weekends. Most of the first run shows started off down town at the big movies like the Fox, Golden Gate and Orpheum. I recall when the theater was cut up and the day care center was created. It lost much of its glamour when it became the Fox Parkside and it was "modernized."

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