Friday, September 28, 2007


Starting this Monday, the first of October Neato Coolville will become Neato Ghoulville as our little town will be invaded by monsters, ghosts and Jack O’ Lanterns!

All month long until Halloween you’ll see different posts with a creepy theme! BROO-HA HA

Thursday, September 27, 2007


If you’re a regular tourist here in Neato Coolville then you’ll remember during the month of May as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Star Wars with thirty straight days of Star Wars related posts. One post was about the theater where I saw Star Wars for the first time, the Four Seasons Cinema at the Lodge of the Four Seasons located at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.

It’s been years since this little movie theater played an actual movie and it is now used for business meetings, power point presentations and kid’s birthday parties. The cool thing, is that it can be rented out for a reasonable fee.

So what would any nostalgic Star Wars fan do? Rent out the theater where he first saw this space fantasy, invite a few people and watch it exactly 30 years later. (Actually 30 years and one day later, but who’s counting?) So that’s what we did on August 25, 2007.



The Mayor and First Lady

The theater is filling up

Take your seats!

Looking out the projection booth

No, we didn’t have a print of the film, but used the original 1977 version on DVD. Even if we did have a print we didn't have anything to play it on as the projectors are long gone and they’ve been replaced by a DVD player and DVD projector. We had popcorn and soda at the concession stand, door prizes and Star Wars fun packets for the kids.

Star Wars fun packs for the kids

Masks for the kids

Everyone had a blast and it was definitely nostalgic for us old folks, but the neato part was seeing all the kids having fun just like we did thirty years ago!

Monday, September 24, 2007


Check out this great photo on this ad card for Zeezo's Magic Castle. A clown in a tiny car in front of a Safeway, it just doesn't get much better than this! I did a quick search on old Zeezo and noticed that Zeezo's Magic Castle is still selling magic tricks and jokes.

Someone has just listed on ebay a different view of Zeezo in front of a Safeway and for $9.99 an ebay seller is selling a cool card of Zeezo in front of his van.

Different View of Zeezo
Zeezo's Van Postcard

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I just unearthed this September 3, 1927 issue of Moving Picture World from a tub of magazines that I forgot I had. This tub hasn’t been opened for almost ten years. So I was especially happy to find this issue that has a great advertisement for Walt Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!

This ad does have me baffled as I've read that Oswald first premiered in 1927 and according to Don Markstein's Toonpedia Oswald's first officially released cartoon Trolley Troubles was released September 5, 1927. As you can see, the date on the ad is September 3. Maybe this ad was before the official release and it was used to hype the character. I wonder if Oswald premiered at the Criterion?

Also, 26 shorts were produced between 1927 and 1928, but in the fine print we see that it says "26 of them -one reel each.” I guess they're talking about other non-Oswald shorts.

The last thing is that Oswald doesn't look like himself as he's all white instead of black and he's missing his shorts. Maybe this is how he looked in his first cartoon Poor Papa that wasn't released until the next year because Universal thought he needed to be jazzed up. I haven't seen Poor Papa and I can only assume the cartoon was retooled to look like the past year’s cartoons when it was finally released in 1928.

I'm looking forward to the Disney Treasures Oswald DVD coming out this December!

Excellent article at with a photo of a German poster with this version of Oswald.

Oswald at Wikipedia
Trolley Troubles on YouTube

Friday, September 21, 2007



The First Lady of Neato Coolville just found a nice artifact for our autograph and movie theater collection. It's a Bob Cummings signed 1988 Fulton Cinema ticket for the 1942 movie Kings Row.

Before becoming famous from Winston Churchill's historic 1946 "Iron Curtain" speech, Fulton gained notoriety from author Henry Bellamann as he based his 1940 novel Kings Row on the small Missouri town. In 1942 the book was adapted into a movie and starred Ronald Reagan, Ann Sheridan and Robert (Bob) Cummings. In 1988 for Fulton's Kingdom Days parade Bob Cummings was an honored guest and the Fulton Cinema had a special screening of Kings Row.

Below is a recent photo of the Fulton Cinema, which originally opened as the Fulton Theatre in 1928 and became the Fulton Cinema in 1980. It's now in the process of becoming an Arts Council Theatre.

I dug this Fulton Theatre ticket out of my collection for today's post.

Check out these two links about the Fulton Cinema.
Cinema Treasures Fulton Cinema
Cinema Tour Fulton Cinema (with photos)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


As I was out for my morning stroll thru the streets of Neato Coolville, I noticed that everyone was talking like a pirate. I thought to myself that this was a little odd especially since I was walking down Main Street. Now if I had been walking down Pirate Alley I wouldn’t have thought anything of it as most of the real pirates live on Pirate Alley.

Anyway, I asked a nice chap and in a gruff voice he said, “Ahoy me hearty Mayor, didn’t ye know it was talk like a pirate day?” I had completely forgotten today was Talk Like a Pirate Day! So, right now let me yell out a loud Arrgh, “ARRRGHHHH.” Hey that felt good. Now it’s your turn to yell out a loud and hardy Arrgh. Don’t worry I’ll wait. . .

Didn’t that feel good? Now you’re in the right frame of mind to view a few pirate things that I found in the archives. I wish all ye landlubbers a merry old time this Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I’m afraid another landmark has disappeared from the roadside and this time it was the Noah’s Ark Restaurant that was torn down for a new development. It was located in St. Charles, Missouri off of Interstate 70 and for more than thirty years Noah’s Ark was a sanctuary to hungry travelers and fiberglass animals. This unique restaurant was known for its clam chowder and offered a large salad bar appropriately named the Salad Ark and a popular cocktail lounge called the Ravens Roost. (I doubt the real Noah had a cocktail lounge on his Ark, maybe a couple of cockatoos, but no cocktails)

The restaurant closed sometime in 2000 and the Ark just sat there as if it was waiting for another great flood to come along. Noah used to stand at the bow greeting people as he released a dove into the sky, but apparently he jumped ship as he turned up missing after it closed. Another great flood never came and instead, the Ark was greeted by the wrecking ball. It’s kind of ironic that a large aquatic center will be built in the Ark’s place, which is slated to open sometime in the next few years.

I snapped these photos back in 2004 and the postcard and matchbox are from the late 60's or 1970's. Also, check out some of the links where you can see photos of how it looked before, a couple of articles about the demolition and two YouTube video links of it being destroyed.

Roadside America posts
Bon Voyage to Noah's Ark
YouTube demolition video
YouTube demolition video

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Update - I didn't win the contest but it was sure fun entering.

Click Here to watch my 30 second video for RCA and Roadside America's Small Wonders of America Contest.

For fun I took a couple of hours and shot and edited some video of my two hometown Muffler Men during their eternal show down of waving at one another. (They’ve been waving for more than 30 years.)  If you want to rate the video, you'll have to join Small Wonders of America.

Also, sorry for the lack of posts this month, but I've been on the road. I'll be posting a few more this month and then I'll have a post everyday for my 30 days of Halloween all month in October.

Thanks for watching!

Saturday, September 01, 2007


A couple of weekends ago we enjoyed a fun evening at the Twin Drive-In located in Independence, Missouri as guests of my pal Mike or better known as Aparofan! This drive-in is amazing as you feel that you just fell back in time! It's been open since the mid-1960's and the only thing that's changed are the movies. The best part is that they still show the classic "It's Intermission Time" film between the double feature.

I dug out some photos that I had taken back in 2001 and those are all the day shots. The night shots are from a couple of weekends ago.

Cinema Treasures link