When I first viewed the “for sale” sign on the Southampton theater, my heart sank. It holds many fond memories for me. It was a part-time job that I held for 15 years. In those days, I worked for the Prudential Theaters, and then for United Artists.
The manager was Morley Quatroche. Our oldest employee was Arthur “Murphy” Press, who started when Mr. Glenn first opened the place — and did Murphy have memories to share! He was my primary source when I wrote a college paper for my New York State local history component on the “History of the Southampton Theater.”
I read with enthusiasm the article in The Press [“Cummings Brothers Look To Buy Southampton Theater And Create Nonprofit Entertainment ‘Beacon,’” 27east.com, July 7]. Ben and Orson Cummings have great memories of going to the movies. Their fear of the great chandelier triggered for me a reminiscence of when I worked at the Southampton theater. To this day, I have fond memories of my job responsibilities at this wonderful, exciting place to work.
I started in 1954, at age 14, working the matinées during the summer. Rainy days were the best days! Why? Because we were filled to capacity and sold every bit of our on-hand candy stock!
Over time, I did every possible job, except being a projectionist.
I, too, was afraid of the chandelier crashing — especially when I had to lower it, twice a year, so that the cleaning crew could have access to it. Fear again returned when I manually cranked, ever so gently, to return it to its secure ceiling position.
I sincerely hope that Ben and Orson can reopen an institution so dear to so many in our village, preserving its history and its place on Hill Street. I truly hope to be among those present upon its grand reopening.
One fine body…