By Bob Chambers
This is Chambers’ Corner ….. the occasional occupant of a corner of this blog, where Bob Chambers, an Evening Tribune photographer from 1957 to 1970, will present some of his photographs from that era ……
These scenes are not about making “A Reporters Notebook” more sensual, but have a much more historically interesting, message.
At first glance it’s just a fine summer day in August 1969, and the Park Theatre marquee on East Main Street has a message referring to a film it was showing. I’ve included two shots, the top one for quality sake and the other one, poorer technical quality (it was the photo we sent out to Canadian Press that day) but the better image.
Note the guy in the middle distance doing a real look-around. He’s not posed, but the foreground guy, and the girl, both found downtown, were directed by me and several shots were taken. I could write words about how things could get sensual in the balcony of the Park and about the fashions of the day …… 1969 was certainly around the high-water mark of mini-skirt hemlines and note the guys were more flamboyant too. I don’t recall anyone’s name or the name of the film.
But, the real story in these shots is the downtown sidewalk crowd of shoppers on a normal weekday afternoon. It was not taken on a Saturday; probably on a Thursday or Friday for use in Saturday’s Tribune, and not taken specifically to show a crowd, but just a normal day downtown.
As for how I happened to take note of the marquee ….. we drivers all had more time to look at things in 1969, or maybe even time to run in to the Olympia to pick up a sandwich …. while waiting for the bridge. That was Welland before the change of shopping habits that occurred in most cities before the shoppers went to the mall.
– Bob Chambers, Tribune photographer 1957 -1970.
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Editor’s note: Chambers’ Corner appeared on the blog a few years ago as a recurring feature, this submission in July, 2015. It is presented here unchanged. The series has been rebranded Chambers’ Corner Revisited and is appearing at the request of readers. It appears on the blog Wednesdays.