Here was the Twin City Gas building, actually not that old as it was built in the late 1950's. It eventually became known as the King's Stereo building, as owner Howard King purchased the building that housed his forever remembered stereo store.
You would walk through the main doors and go down the stairs instead of right into King's Stereo, then you'd be in the Tropics Restaurant, well known for its excellent cuisine, including the typical standards as well as Chinese. The Tropics was a great spot to go for a first date......a little better than the Lorna Doone but still on the affordable side. It was also frequented by many folks that attended evening functions at the Fort William Gardens, and then wanted a good place to go eat and gab after the event. It was also a favourite spot after attending movies at the Capitol Theatre or the Odeon here in what used to be a thriving downtown Fort William.
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.....and WOW...check out the prices...a club steak for $2.85, and a hamburger steak sandwich for only 40 cents.
I met Howard King back then as many young guys had, as he had some of the best stereo equipment in the Lakehead, and also the best prices. Howard was quite a gentleman too, as you could also cut a good deal on the latest stereo supplies. I had purchased a number of items from King's through the years and when the Tropics closed, everything kind of remained like it once was down the stairs for a few years until I got wind that Howard had purchased all the inventory. Being in the store one day it got out that Howard was going to sell the Seeburg M100C Jukebox that I had listened to in the tropics a number of years before. It was going to auction until I made Howard an offer that he couldn't refuse and it has been in my rec room ever since. It needed some restoration and a tweek every so often, but remains to this day as the favourite item I have collected over time. In later years I had also acquired a complete soda fountain that was also in The Tropics from Mr. King, which was so heavy that four guys couldn't even lift it. I had it stored at a friends place and it basically disappeared over time.
Here is my Seeburg M100C as it is today, with all the old 45's inside. This specific model was the one that you saw at the beginning of every Happy Days episode and it also appeared in many Elvis films. I had read somewhere that this particular model was Elvis' favourite Jukebox.
So, We all miss King's Stereo(T.C. Gas building), and the old Tropics restaurant.....and like everything else good in our lives, it all has to come to an end. Thank you Howard for the privilege of knowing you and the joy that was preserved by selling that Jukebox to me. Sorry...It's NOT for sale!
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