Right in my Own Backyard - Winter Movies - by Brandt Carter
posted: Apr. 01, 2021
During the Fifties when television was still a fresh sensation, many doomsayers predicted that movie theaters would soon be a thing of the past. We could stay home and watch Lassie, Mickey Mouse Club with Annette Funicello and Cubby O'Brien, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Superman, and Little Rascals to name a few. In the evenings families huddled around one TV in the living room to watch the likes of "The $64,000 Challenge," "Name that Tune," "Father Knows Best," "The Gayle Storm Show," "Ed Sullivan," "The Texaco Star Theater with Milton Berle," "Jack Benny," and "I Love Lucy."
Nevertheless, when it came to Saturdays, we flocked to the Vogue in Broad Ripple and The Uptown (at 4215 N. College, now demolished) to enjoy movies. I remember seeing A Hole in the Head with Frank Sinatra with the memorable song "High Hopes" at the Vogue at least five times; The first movie I ever cried at was Shane with Alan Ladd. I recall being confounded by how a film could bring me to tears and cause such emotion. This was a new sensation for a preteen!
Both the Vogue and Uptown featured Saturday afternoon matinees for the neighborhood. Mom could drop us off with assurance that we were safe and would be well entertained while she got in a couple hours of shopping. I think she gave us 50 cents for the afternoon.
Saturday movies were the best! We would go inside in full daylight and come out during winter months at dusk. Theaters held such allure with their double features, cartoons, snacks, and whispers of nearly 600 kids (sans chaperones) - the only adults were the ushers. Great drama ensued before the lights went down as we scanned the crowd to see who we recognized and who we wanted to avoid. Oh, what marvelous memories were made all because of two neighborhood theaters.