Thursday, April 12, 2007

vintage windsor movie theatres department

Vintage Ad #203 - What Windsor Was Watching (and Eating) in March of '77
While doing some research in the Toronto Reference Library last month, I went down to the newspaper collection in the basement and photocopied the front page of the Windsor Star from my sister's birthday, which I used to wrap one of her presents. While scrolling through the microfilm, I also took a look at what was playing on local screens the day she arrived.

(Her birth notice proved interesting, as a few babies down was one of my friends, who I didn't meet until nearly a quarter century later!)

Note the lengthy run of Silver Streak, a rarity at the multiplex these days. Also note the odd pairing at the Windsor Drive-In: a Led Zep doc and a road-race comedy. The movies at the bottom of the page also couldn't be more different: Voyage of the Damned was an oscar-nominated drama about Jews attempting to leave Germany in 1939, while Mako: The Jaws of Death was one of the first Jaws ripoffs.

As for the theatres in this ad:

* The Devonshire ran through the 90s, its space currently occupied by H&M. Cineplex Odeon built a modern multiplex during Devonshire Mall's most recent expansion in 2000.

* The Windsor Drive-In site sat vacant for years.

* Based on its location, I'm guessing that the Twin East was replaced by the Famous 4, which wound up being Windsor's last chain-operated drive-in. Its site is now the Legacy Park big box development.

* The Capitol has had several lives since closing as a first-run theatre, mostly as a live performance venue. It has recently run into financial troubles. International Metropolis has pictures of a March rally to save the venue.

As for the restaurants ads, I've always wondered if entrees like chicken in a basket (or my childhood fave, shrimp in a basket) were an Essex County thing, since I rarely saw them elsewhere. We usually had these "baskets" at the now-defunct Anderdon Tavern, where the fried chicken or shrimp sat on a bed of fries in a plastic basket. The kind of dish my stomach would revolt at now.

Source: The Windsor Star, March 18, 1977

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