Saturday, May 14, 2022

Andy's Angles: Demolition Weekend


Looking back on the blog archives, there have been far too many blog entries dedicated to demolition projects-- before, during and after.  Today, it's a "before."

This is the old theater on Delaware Avenue in Olyphant.

The theater closed eons ago.  It was a pizza restaurant, then a Chinese restaurant, then a place to hold a model car layout.  I did get a quick look at the model cars, back in 1996.  It really was impressive.  I'm sorry I didn't have more time to explore the building.

I am most familiar with this building during its pizza restaurant days.  It was the Friday lunch spot when I was in 6th grade-- the year of my educational journey I despised the most.  If we behaved and if our grades were good, we were allowed to walk a few blocks and grab a pizza for lunch.  

Trouble is on the horizon here, because the pizza was just fair, in my view, even though it was exceptionally popular with the locals.  It never lived up to the hype, but even bad pizza is good.  It was nice to get out of that horrible school building for a while.  The school was later condemned as a fire trap.  The playground was a paved and sloped alley.  No gym.  No library.  No science facilities.  I can honestly say I hated just about every second in that building.  In fact, the principal at my previous school set up a little library in an un-used room, and we could stop there after school.  It was the 70's.  My teacher was stuck in the 40's and should have retired long before I walked in the door. What really makes this tale sad is the people who ran that particular school and the district in general thought it was just fine.  In reality, it was an embarrassment to the school district.

I digress.

Above is the view of the theater building from the rear.

The theater story is a familiar tale.  Yet another local building is allowed to deteriorate.  It has to be torn down before it falls down, or burns down.  Considering the history here, a small town movie theater, it really is tragic.

You can see the rubber roofing that's been peeled back and the holes in the roof in the above photo.

I'm going to try to get back here when the bulldozers expose the inside of what was once a grand building.

A few more thoughts here tomorrow.

But, before I close for the day, I'm not picking on the people of Olyphant.  They're a good bunch, with active churches, and strong volunteer fire companies.  The business community is taking steps to promote itself.  The borough has some very nice bars and restaurants.  I am merely pointing out the shortcomings of a school district from 50 years ago.