Chester Chatter: Date night at the Park Theater

By Ruthie Douglas
©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Once upon a time Chester had a movie theater. It was upstairs in the building where the Moon Dog Cafe was and where Meditrina Wine and Cheese now is.

High long stairs led up to the theater, which held about 75 seats. Movies were shown Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and popcorn, candy and other treats were sold.

Aili Farrar ran the projector and Loraine Clemens sold the tickets and the food. Children’s films were show during summer vacation and sometimes in the afternoon of winter break.

My friend Brian Waldo and I were recently talking about the Park Theater, as it was named. It even had its name in neon lights.

Brian and his friends would take up all the seats in the back of the theater, so that when the teenage boys and their dates arrived, no place in the back, far dark corners could be found. Brian and his friends would change places for popcorn and candy.

Sunday night was Don and my time. We’d hurry through the milking, then quickly change our clothes and head to the theater. Our Sunday night supper was always Coke, popcorn and candy. We knew most everyone in the audience and before the movie began, we’d sit and visit, discussing town affairs and world events.

Sunday nights were definitely our night out and the cost was just right: 50 cents a ticket, 25 cents for a box of popcorn, 10 cents for a candy bar and 5 cents for a Coke. Ice and a straw cost extra. Yes those were the days!

Out and about

Saturday, March 16, the annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner will be served at the American Legion Post 67, 637 Route 103 South. The dinner will begin at noon and last until everything is gone. Corned beef and cabbage and other vegetables will be served.  Dinner is $13 per person and everyone is welcome. And takeout is available.

An important community center in Gassetts has always been the Grange Hall. Besides Grange meetings, dances, bingo, weddings and funeral receptions, community meetings and countless good times have taken place there. Recently the river overflowed causing great damage making the hall unsafe. The Grange members are looking for help to repair their building.

Now is the time to remove your Christmas wreathes from your door.

You know spring is coming when you see steam rising from the sugar houses.

  • This week’s trivia question:  How many miles of gravel roads are their in our town?
  • Answer to last week’s trivia question: There are 78 bridges in the town Chester


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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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