Palm Beach High School

The "School on the Hill" in West Palm Beach, FL

Movie stories (The Carefree Theater, Palms, Drive-Ins, etc.) West Palm Beach, 1950s

These accounts actually originated in Lake Worth (yes, they had teenagers there, too). They were each written by different people, and I've changed the names to protect the guilty. (PLEASE NOTE: THESE THINGS DID NOT HAPPEN TO ME. THEY HAPPENED TO FRIENDS OF FRIENDS, AND THEY WROTE THE ACCOUNTS. NOT ME. I WAS AT HOME STUDYING FOR AMERICAN HISTORY TESTS OR READING WAR AND PEACE  AT THE TIME ALL THESE THINGS HAPPENED.)
 
The Carefree Candy Story: by A Guy From Lake Worth
 I worked as an usher at the Carefree at 60 cents an hour. I also worked a little at the Colony in Palm Beach.
Less than impressed by the 60 cent rate (when minimum wage was a dollar), I wrote a complaint to the Labor Department. They wrote back that movie theatres were an exception to the dollar-an-hour rule. Looking back, I'm surprised that didn't inspire me to become a union organizer.
Maybe it was because I met my first two steady girlfriends working at the Carefree (at different times); one sold tickets, the other worked the candy/popcorn counter. Since they worked out in the lobby and standing inside the theatre got boring, I found I could spend lots of time in the lobby by learning to service all the vending machines. Incidentally, the popcorn sold at the Carefree came up already popped, in large paper bags, from someplace in Miami. It was just reheated locally. We're lucky it didn't kill us all. But at the time I wasn't all that concerned about food safety of popcorn because when I filled the popcorn container from one of those bags, since there wasn't much space in between the two candy counters, I had to brush against the candy girl, who was well-developed topside. Ah, youth!
 
The girl who was the cashier at the theater ended up breaking up with me because she was Baptist and I was Catholic, and she (and most likely her parents) foresaw problems if we married. Neither she nor I had any way to anticipate that several years later I would be a deacon in a Baptist church. Don't tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor!

The Palms and Elvis and French Kissing: by A Girl From Lake Worth
 
My husband was an usher at the Palms Theater when Elvis Presley came to perform.
He said the girls were all gooey over him and then he started French kissing them and then they complained.  He was there when they played The 10 Commandments and he quit because he saw it 50 times.  It was so long that they only played it 3 times a day.  The assistant manager, George, was married to the hottest car hop at Pizio’s .  Her name was Linda and she wore the shortest, tightest shorts!!!  The Palms was catty-corner from the Florida.  South of it was sleazy bar. 
J, C, CH and myself used to drive in the exit at the Skydrome.  Periodically, we would get caught.  But all we would do then was drive to the entrance and get in free because J’s mother worked there.  So we never had to pay.
 
Drive-In Movie Hazards: by Another Guy From Lake Worth
This one took place when I was a sophomore at FSU. 1962. I went to Gainesville to see a girl (also a LWHS graduate). At night we went to a drive-in movie there in G-ville. We watched a double feature or something at this drive-in. While doing so we may have been drinking a bit. The second movie ended and everyone drove away. I started to pull out, too, then noticed the speaker was still on the rear window. I reached back and chucked it out and started to drive away. I heard a noise and stopped the car. I got out and looked. The speaker had caught on the rear bumper of the car, and when I drove off it had pulled everything out of the ground -- speaker, speaker post, and wiring. I laughed, reached down and tossed the speaker off the bumper, and drove off. 

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Comment by ROBERT CHARLES HALLIDAY on May 15, 2016 at 9:05pm

I need pictures of all these known theaters in west palm beach/palm beach/lake worth/ riviera for our class reunions memories

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