1956 the year in review as recorded in the ,ocal newspaper

In a recent blog I did about the old Penn Theatre I found it necessary to do some research to determine the date that it closed.  I did remember it was no longer open when I came to town in 1958. My wife remembered seeing "The Long Long Trailer," a Lucille Ball movie that came out in 1953. 

Armed with that information I headed to the museum to check out the newspaper archives.  I soon discovered that the movie listings were usually found on page 3 of the Inter-Borough Press each week. I also discovered that the Penn Theatre ads were not in the 1957 volume.  1956 was the year and I took the volume down
to the library to search week by week to see what I could discover. 

I not only found the last show played in July but got the oppottunity to see all of the newsworthy events of 1956. It was like a time capsule opening right in front of my eyes. I was only 11 back then and didn't pay much attention to current events.  There was a lot going on in the twin boroughs and I decided perhaps I should share a bit of what I  saw when I peeked into the past.

In 1956 there were lots of stores and pages full of advertisements for things you could buy right here in the twin boroughs.  Many of the stores gave out S&H green stamps.

The current Spring City Post Office was built that year. It cost $40,000 to erect.   The Acme Market was also built in 1956 and although the Acme is gone now the building remains and is home to the Spring-Ford Diner.

The Chestmont swim club on 724 was built in 1956 and continues to operate. also in that general area was the Dairy Mart (Montich's) which also opened in 1956.  It was a novelty in our local area as drive in window service for eating was something new. 

Jerry's Market supermarket on Lewis road in Royersford had its grand opening. In later years it was home to Gary's and then the Sly Fox and alas it has changed again (Lucky Lab) but the shopping center originally opened in 1956.

Dedication of the Sacred Heart school and convent also occurred in 1956.

At the local theatre movies such as The Lone Ranger, and Blackboard Jungle were listed. A new option that appeared was multiple listing for the Hiway Drive-In movie theater.

Now the Drive-In was listed as Royersford but it was located out on 422 just off Township Line road. It closed in 1988 but was certainly an option for movies when the Penn Theatre closed.

There was an article in the paper about school teacher's salaries. Always a topic of discussion.  The 1956-57 budget was $800,000 and called for an increase in starting salaries.  A certified teacher would receive $3400 a year, One with a batchelor's degree would get $3600 and a Master's degree was $3800.

There was a story about the need to build a new elementary school. Of course that didn't happen right away but they did buy the Wall Street property in Spring City a couple of years later and opened the school they were talking about in 1960.

There was a heated debate in Spring City borough, with several factions speaking out against the need for a new bar being allowed to open on South Main Street. That bar was eventually opened and was called Pomponi's for awhile and later the Pumptown Tavern.  It's still there on South Main Street and I believe most of the voices objecting are now resting peacefully.

Another story was about the John Woods Co. in Royersford employing 275 people. I must confess I didn't know anything about this company. It seems the company came into existance in 1953 when they purchased the Bengal Range Stove business from Floyd Wells Co.  I knew Floyd Wells closed in 1953 but didn't realize that Bengal ranges were still being built. This is something else I must look at and if anyone knows please feel free to let me know in the remarks column.

There were stories about Diamond Glass, Jones Motor and Philco Tube and how they were all growing at a rapid pace.  And so they all did in 1956.  

I have scanned some of these images for the picture section of this story. I hope you also enjoy these clips. 

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Len Faulkner Jr September 15, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Bill.... Great research here. All of the places mentioned here are at the very beginning of my memory banks. I was just 7 years old at the time. Your collection of newprint at the Historical Society is a treasure in itself. Thanks for the memories.


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