OF ELDRIDGE PARK
Elmira, New York
Now appearing on stage, Magician Lew Thrasher and
his lovely wife and assistant, Polly.
might have been the words you'd hear during a wonderful
evening at Eldridge back in the Forties. There were many
stage and aerial acts that performed for appreciative
audiences at the park. Each evening would start out with
a movie that began right about dusk.
At fourteen years old, Bob
Sardo was the projectionist. His family also owned
several of the concessions at the park ran the old-time
movies that was part of the evening entertainment at the
"I remember one night
my dad told me not to run the title or the credits,"
says Sardo. "The movie advertised Bing Crosby, but
it was one of Bing's early movies and so he had kind of a
bit part in it. When I asked Dad why he didn't want to
show the title or the credits, he said, "This movie
is so old, I'm ashamed to have to show it.'"
sometimes there were some pretty good movies, including
shoot-em-up westerns, which were a favorite in those
days. Usually they were two reels in length and Bob would
load up the second reel and then wait awhile to start it
so as to give everyone a chance to go get more popcorn
first year my dad showed the movies, only had one
projector," says Sardo. "It was an old 1932
Motion Graph that was hand cranked. You'd crank it at a
speed of 24 frames a second - and no takeup reel. He
didn't have time to rewind the film between reels, so
he'd have two bags of film on the floor at the end of the
movie. Being a hand-cranked machine, it was obviously for
silent films only. After the first year, he brought in
two Powers machines with sound. So, by the time I got
involved in it, we were modern"
The movies would start at
9:00 and be over by 10:30 with the intermission. And then
at 11, the stage or aerial acts would begin."
How about you? Do you
remember Eldridge Park?
What was it like when you went? Any favorite memories?
Please write to us.
© 2002 Friends
All Rights Reserved