There were many changes that shocked the 1957 graduates when they returned for their 50th reunion. Nothing upset me more than to realize that it had become a town without a movie theater. I was eight years old when we moved to Pearl River in 1948. The price for a movie was 14 cents. You could always round up three soda bottles and have enough money to go. If you had a couple of more bottles you could turn them in at Oakley's candy store and have plenty of candy as well.
I had a key to the theater from the ages of 14 to 30. It was like a second home to me. My brother, Marion Summers and Mort Duggan also worked there at one time or another. Five or six teenagers a year could always count on a job there each year. Many of us went there for our first date. There were regulars that came at the same time every week. Those were in the days when a movie only stayed for one week.
Babe O'Shaugnessy would pay on Wednesday when a new show started then she could come in the rest of the week for free. Willy Botts would stop in each night when he walked in to town from Mona Lee's place. The police were always allowed in free on their off nights, we always felt safer when one of them was in the theater. If you worked there you could always come to see the movie on your off night, that was one of the perks. Your parents were also allowed to come in free.
Change is sometimes good or bad in a town. No movie in town is certainly not a welcome change.