Tuesday, October 30, 2012


In the 1950's and 1960's, John Zacherle served as the host on TV stations in Philadelphia and New York City when they would run horror movies.  His program was called Shock Theatre.  He developed a spooky persona, and delivered this song in the spoken word style he used on television.  The song finds Zacherle having dinner with the famous vampire Count Dracula, where he finds out that Dracula plans to eat him.
Zacherle had a recording deal with the Philadelphia record label Cameo.  On this track he was backed by Cameo's house band, Dave Appell and the Applejacks.
Dick Clark played this on his American Bandstand TV show, but made Zacherle record a less violent version.  When audiences demanded the Bandstand version, Cameo released the single with the original listed as "Dinner With Drac, Part 1" and the toned-down alternate version as "Part 2".
Zacherle never had another hit.  His follow-up song was "Lunch with Mother Goose," and it laid a huge egg.
The actual recording date was 1958, and his friendship with Dick Clark lasted for years.  Be sure to click on the arrow to hear this great old halloween classic - TURN UP THE SOUND!!

The following poster and still from the 1931 film still haunts us to this day, as Bela Lugosi still remains one of the most frightening persona of the silver screen!!!!
Happy Halloween 2012....
Be safe and keep an eye on your children....
....and finally check out the other halloween post I did around the beginning of October then com back...CLICK HERE http://hotrodsandjalopies.blogspot.ca/2012/10/happy-halloweenwhat-we-saw-at-intercity.html

Monday, October 22, 2012

Canadian Tire's 90th Birthday this year....Fort William and Port Arthur stores...

Before the year is out we felt it fitting to recognize Canada's own big box establishment that's been around for an unbelievable 90 years, and still going stronger than ever.  I think there isn't a day goes by that at least one member of our family has been into one of the stores here for one thing or another.  The well known logo below is an older one and is a mechanics patch from my own collection.  Be sure to click on all the pictures below for enlargements.

The invoice here reads 126 N. May St. in Fort William Ontario and dated 1949  ...that's 63 years ago.  The photo on the right is that very address taken a couple of years ago.

This invoice is dated 1948 and shows the address as 119 S. May St. in Fort William, Ontario ....that's 64 years ago today.  The photo on the right is that very address and was also taken a couple of years ago.  The Canadian Tire Stores were at many different locations throughout our cities some of which is shown below.
Canadian Tire shown in 1957/58/59/60 and '62 phone books are shown at 235-237 Simpson Street, and 215 Van Norman Street in Port Arthur with a service department at 106 N. Cumberland Street.  In 1961 the Van Norman Street address is dropped and the Port Arthur store was all in one location at the 106 N. Cumberland Street address.

This was the former location at 106 N. Cumberland Street, now Villa Square

The address to the left was the 215 Van Norman Street Canadian Tire Store.  The Google earth photo to the right is where the Canadian Tire Store was once located behind County Fair Plaza on Dawson Road....then moving to the Thunder Centre.
In about 1963, the Canadian Tire store was located here where the present day Sylvan Learning Centre is.  This location was also a Safeway store before it became a Canadian Tire.
This photo shows the present day Canadian Tire Store on the left and another former CTC store on the right which is now The Athletic Club.....I believe Canadian Tire still owns a portion of the grassy area of the property closer to Arthur Street where summer cruise nights are held.....for possibly a gas bar at a later time.

Here is a ground level shot of the present day store on West Arthur Street and the photo below is the only other Canadian Tire Store presently in The Thunder Centre near the Intercity Shopping area.

1948-49 Catalog Cover
1966-67 Catalog Cover

   To the left is the cover and below are pages from the 1968 Canadian Tire Catalog showing all the items we purchased back in 1968.....reading these and wishing some of these prices were still around today such as Mag Wheels for $43.96 each or Chrome Reverse Wheels for a measly $23.95 each and probably made either in Canada or the USA.  Yes....and also custom shifters for $21.25 and for those who remember what there were for is a complete set of snap-on whitewalls for only $5.69......and a set of custom fender skirts for $8.20.
....We can only dream now   :-)

 Click on each of these TWICE to enlarge them to full screen!

A Moto Master Tire and Tube Patch Kit Box
How that 1948-49 Delivery Truck would have looked.

Here is a Canadian Tire Store photo right out of the 1950's taken on the corner of Yonge and Church Street in Toronto....Snow Shovels for $1.65

The last photo here is a first edition Canadian Tire 10 cent paper money piece.
We have to thank our own Canadian Tire stores locally here for all the great years we have had them with us and for the countless well priced parts and services that we received through the years......From their meagre beginnings to the present day mega store they continue to bring us what we need......especially for us Gear-Heads....
Many thanks to Al Pomanti for the invoice copies in this post.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Halloween.......Intercity Drive-In Theatre 1960's...

I know it's a bit early for a Halloween post but I have been working on this for awhile and thought what the.....    I might as well post it now, and uh...Happy Thanksgiving Day to all....we are so blessed for what we have! 
......Have a great long weekend and I hope you enjoy this off the wall post!!
Do you remember "Dragula" from the Munsters??
...Here is an old newspaper ad from our own Intercity Drive-In Theatre which was noticeably directly across Oliver Road from the Port Arthur Golf and Country Club, fairly close to where the Oliver Road entrance to the Regional Hospital is.
Below is actually a fantasy sign that might have appeared near the road entrance to the Drive-In and this next photo is a very rare shot of the Oliver Road side of our Intercity Drive-In looking a bit run down and probably taken near the end of its days. 
It was great fun to take your honey out to the drive in especially for the horror movies, to scare the daylights out of her and to nearly have her sitting in your lap in fear......:-)

This is also a neat little fantasy poster from our drive-in
saying that it is the last showing for 1954, and being
December that heaters would be supplied.  Some theatres
would have speakers with actual electric heaters in them.
Not too efficient though.


Films such as "Black Friday" and "The Blob" were a couple of my favourites during the 50's and 60's.  I actually didn't attend a drive-in myself until at least 1960 when I finally got my driver's license.  I had my license before most of my friends did, so we did the pile in the trunk thing in my 1949 Chevy, to get us all into the theatre and only paid for a couple of tickets for myself as the driver and one buddy riding shotgun.  Honestly we only did that a couple of times, but never got caught.  Your license plate number would be posted and you would never get back into the theatre if you did get caught.

Another great film was that of the famous War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.  The actual radio broadcast was a disaster because many people  believed that it actually happened!


The King Kong poster shown below to the right is another very cool little fantasy poster saying that is is being shown at the new Odeon Theatre in Fort William. 
Just a note here...be sure to click on all the photos to see them enlarged!

Here are a couple of fantasy photos .....well uh...maybe not a fantasy if you were lucky :-).....If the films were bad, you could snuggle up and smooch a bit, but many Drive-In's had a NO - NO approach to that.  Signs would be posted at some stating that it was a movie theatre and if you engaged in any Hanky Panky that you would have to leave.....I can't remember what the local policy was regarding that!!


Here are some great comedy "horror" films that we might have seen at the Drive-in.  Well, actually most of these so called "Horror" films were pretty much comedies anyway.  Remember Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall and all the Bowery Boys films at the Drive-In and also at the Royal Theatre in downtown Fort William.  Some of my favourite films in the 1950's were the ones that basically starred Francis the talking mule.  Donald O'Connor who initially starred with Francis in a number of comedy films actually left for other endeavours because the mule always took top billing.  This next "Horror" film was with Francis and none other than Mickey Rooney as the side-kick after Donald O'Connor called it quits.

There were many "B" Horror films made with the then very popular comedy team of Abbott & Costello as you can see from the posters shown here and above.

Charlie Chan films were another favourite....well lets say I just enjoyed going to the movies and the Drive-In as a kid.
Surely those were the days my friends...I thought they'd never end........
Thanks to "John's Forbidden Planet" for most of the wonderful posters.