Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — At the Movies

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by 7th Street Theatre, Hoquiam, WA licensed under CC BY 2.0. Image cropped and some text removed.

It’s summertime. It’s hot and its a long weekend. And theatres were one place with air conditioning. A good place to go with a date or spouse or partner, maybe with the help of a sitter. On this weekend in 1971, these were the movies we had the choice of viewing. Here are the listings from the Vindicator on July 3, 1971:

First of all, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was at the Boardman Plaza Theatre, the Plaza Cinema, and the Northside Drive-In. Remember Gene Wilder taking those who found tickets in their Wonka Bars through his factory?

The Lawman trailer

At the Liberty Plaza Theatre, The Lawman, a western with Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, and Lee J. Cobb was paired with It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, a classic comedy from 1963 with practically every comedian of the era. The Lawman was also at the Southside Drive-in. A real shoot-em-up!

Wild Rovers trailer

Westerns were still a deal fifty years ago. William Holden and Ryan O’Neal starred in this “anti-Western which you could watch at the Sky-Hi and Hickory Drive-Ins. Over at the Howland Drive-In, you could see John Wayne and Rock Hudson in The Undefeated. George Kennedy and Frank Sinatra in Dirty Dingus McGee were the second billing at the Sky-Hi.

Original Trailer from Klute

That same weekend we could see Jane Fonda as a high-priced call girl along with a very young Donald Sutherland in the noir detective thriller Klute. This was when she was “hot” before her much despised venture to North Vietnam in 1972. Klute was at the Wedgewood Cinema that weekend.

Trailer for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

It was second run by this point, but Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was showing at the Lincoln Knolls Theatre. Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and Katherine Ross at the top of their games. Another western!

Plaza Suite trailer.

Plaza Suite was a sophisticated Neil Simon comedy starring Walter Matthau. It was showing at Southern Park Cinema. This is probably the one your parents went to that weekend!

The Andromeda Strain trailer

The classic sci-fi thriller The Andromeda Strain was in its fourth week at the Uptown while Escape from the Planet of the Apes was at the West Side and Howland Drive-Ins.

The Summer of ’42 was at Loews Eastwood and the Newport. I question if a movie about an underage teenage boy in an affair with a married woman should have been made. It was a blockbuster in 1971.

Did this bring back a few memories? It did for me, both of movies, and all the movie venues around Youngstown. And maybe it gave you a few ideas of movies to look for on Netflix–or not! Whatever is the case, I hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.

To read other posts in the Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown series, just click “On Youngstown.” Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — At the Movies

  1. I was sitting watching the bowlers at the (air conditioned) Gran Lanes one summer Tuesday afternoon at about 12 years old when Jimmy Glenellen came rushing in looking for someone to earn $1 by helping him put up the marquee at the Schenley Theater. By first helping him, then taking over the job when he quit and doing some weekend ushering, I had free admission to the theater for a couple of years around 1961-63 (7th and 8th grades). The Foster family owned the Schenley and the Uptown Theaters. I remember the crushing crowds when the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night played. It was great fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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