The Movies

by Andrew Fresco


As kids growing up in Newark, we had no time for getting into trouble or being bored. We found things to do. We played stick base ball in the street, where the sewers were the bases, kick the can, hide and seek and if nothing else we listened to the radio,"The Lone Ranger", "Sam Spade" and "Lux Presents Hollywood". If all else failed, we went to the movies.

We looked forward to rain and snow days. If the weather was to bad, the fire bell would ring and we did not have to return to school after lunch, (At 14th Avenue School). My mother would take my sister an I to the Congress theater, on South Orange Avenue, between Fairmount Avenue and Camden Street. The movies was 25 cents and for 5 cent more the adults could receive a piece of dinner ware. Needless to say we made dinner sets, which until today we have few pieces left.

It was one of these rain days that my mother took us to see"Gone With The Wind" at he Lowes , downtown Newark. Sometimes my mother would send us to the Congress, where we would meet up with my cousins and Grandfather. He would get the piece, forget it was on his lap and fall asleep. The kids in the movies would go wild, clapping and screaming every time some dropped a piece. We would get to see two features, a news reel, coming attractions and one episode of "Flash Gordon"

It was a real treat when my father would take the family downtown in his car on Sunday to the movies, the Paramount, Lowes, Brandfort or the Adams, these were the big theaters. We would see a movie and a stage show, I can remember the big bands, Harry James, Cab Calloway and many more.

On the way home we would stop at Prince Street and get pickles, pickled tomatoes, corn beef and Indian nuts in the shell, today called pinoli.

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