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Before and After

Presently, if we are to be entertained, we have hundreds of television channels, millions of websites and countless high-tech options to pass our leisure time. Even the older generations, who brought up pre-cable, have become caught up in the present, have a hard time remembering the simpler times. Going to the movies was part of these simpler times. Theatres were grand, and the marquee had a way of luring you inside.

The 1930's was an era when theatres started to use gimmicks to lure people to the movies. Theatres gave out coloured glassware on nights which dubbed Dish Night, were popular with the lady of the house. This glassware later would be referred to as depression glass

Starting in the 1950's movie theatre gimmicks became commonplace. $1000.00 life insurance (Lloyds of London) policies given to patrons as they walked to their seat in case of death by fright during the movie. Some theatre owners would even go the extent of having a hearse parked out front with attendants as props. Phychorama which used subliminal images only the subconscious mind was able to pick up. For example, an image of a skull might inspire terror, a snake to inspire hate and the word blood spelled out in capital letters was to inspire fear.

Starting in the 1950's subliminal advertising was common to promote sales in coca-cola and popcorn. Though it was never proven to be effective, it was banned by 1974.

Other gimmicks include Smello-vision, Percepto, Sensurround, Punishment poll, Emergo, and the ever popular 3D

Before and after slider circa 1932 shows the Capital Theatre before it became the Park Theatre. Listed on the marquee is Jack the Boy, a British comedy. I can't for the life of me figure out the title of the first movie listed.

On the left it appears to be Deline Tire Shop and The New Queens Hotel, among others. Belleville was a happening place in those days. Much activity from one end of Front Street to the other.

The average cost of a movie ticket in 1932 was $.27 in 2017, $11.00, making it slightly cheaper to buy a movie ticket in 1932 than 2017 (based on average annual income)

I remember the news story in 1974 of a fire at the Park Theatre during the early morning hours, which started in the seating area. This was after the showing of Blazing Saddles. Coincidence? In 1975, when I was only 13 years old I saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show. They allowed me and my friend admission, even though we were under the age of admittance.

What can you remember in regards to the Capital/Park Theatre?


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