Tag Archives: roxy theatre

The Roxy Theatre Larry Clark

The Roxy Theatre Larry Clark

Photo and files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
This is Bridge Street in Carleton Place – the west side, between College and Emily. No date, but c.1950. The occasion was an Orange Day parade, and landmarks include a barber shop, Chinese Laundry, the Roxy Theatre, and Carleton Lunch Bar. J. Gordon Lancaster is marching in the front row, second from left.

Author’s Note

This property at 68-74 Bridge Street housed a theatre that was known as the Star,
Roxy, the O’Brien, and the Odeon. In 1919, the name of the theatre was the Star
Theatre and they ran three features a week and the Kids Matinee was a dime and adults a quarter. At one time the theatre was operated by a committee of town businessmen who hired the projectionists: Sam Ventura and Louie Reuben, the ushers: Sam Saunders the caretakers, and even Marguerite Saunders who sold the tickets.

In 1951, the theatre was the Roxy and the  cost for adults was 40 cents, students 30 cents, and children 15 cents.  The 1940’s and 1950’s was the heyday of the film industry and they used to have an manager of amateur night. Peter Pan and Heidi were some of the films that showed at the Roxy and Dick Maloney a popular comedian of the time also made an appearance at the Roxy.

In the 1930s, there was also a Chinese restaurant and laundry operated by Kelly’s
as well as Rosenberg’s jewellery was also on this site too. The theatre building came down in 1970s when McDermid bought the site along with the Chinese Laundry and also the small brick building which had been a restaurant at one time but was later Howard Dowdall’s Barber Shop. The restaurant was called Giffin’s. Here are some comments:

At one point the clapboard of the new building was brown but in 2006 it became green. There is presently a dentist and offices ( CP Rental) at 68-74 Bridge Street. The original buildings were replaced in the 1970s when McDiarmid bought the site.

In the days of silent films Laura Burrows who lived on William Street was the piano player at the front of the stage and she provided the sound effects. Later the theatre was sold to Mrs. Jenkinson and her son Warren operated it. At time Smiley Gravelle was the projectionist and Rossie Moore Doyle sold the tickets.

Roxy Theatre: by Larry Clark

Saturday Matinees were something to look forward to and necessarily prepared for, as we gathered empty beer/ soda bottles during the week. There were usually plenty of the former scattered along the shoulders/ditches of the highways. It was only a matter of jumping on your bike (when it didn’t have a flat tire or in need of other repair-something we had to take care of ourselves) to range along the county roads or best-if Dad was making a delivery, would ride along spotting for bottles. Six bottles would take care of the ticket (10 cents plus 2 cents tax) but there was always a drink (5 cents) and popcorn (5 cents) to be taken into account, so the search  continued until our goal was met. One particular Saturday, Clark (Briscoe) and I were walking down Napoleon St; ostensibly to go to the Roxy, discussing the fact that we were one penny short on the admission and what the remedy would be. As we approached Lake Ave, we spied a Gentleman walking towards us and our discussion centred on the fact that he might have a penny and who was going to ask him for it? The matter was resolved as I was the older (by a few months). I asked and we did get a penny; received with thanks. 

Until the movie started, the atmosphere in the house could be and usually was, quite raucous-the ushers (barely older than us) would strive to keep order. Apples, oranges, articles of clothing would be tossed about and as the movie started or shortly thereafter, the empty popcorn boxes (folded to be more aerodynamic) would be tossed into the air towards the projection better to make an impression on the scene displayed. Towards the front (screen), the seating included a small alcove (L) where one could be out of sight of the ushers, sit on a shelf along this back wall and hurl away but only if something were thrown at you as was the case of someone just missing me with an orange ( a desirable, expensive missile). I threw it back, missing him but it splattered against a seatback, showering a couple of girls. They ran off to get the ushers as I ran to re-seat myself and the lights dimmed to start the entertainment.

Perhaps not on this occasion but at one time when we were in the process of exiting the theatre, a patron of our age taunted Clark into starting a fight with me (something kids in those days did as a part of growing up-might be called “bullying” today). He swung, missed and I connected with his eye and the ensuing commotion ended that. It was a bit of a hiccup in our friendship but we got over it.

Older and  penniless we would have a method of sneaking into the second show in the evening. Prior to the first show ending, people would be lined up on one side of the lobby waiting for the end of the movie. A rope down the middle would have provided separation from those exiting. We would enter go into the washroom and wait until we heard the clatter of those exiting; join that crowd and press our way thru the crowd, in the opposite direction into the theatre. As far as I know no one was ever caught but eventually we grew to large to be able to do it without being noticed (or they knew it was happening and just ignored the fact). Another method (I can’t recall using it) was to have someone pay for a ticket, enter, proceed to the back of the stage and open the back door to let the others in.

Thus ended the deviousness of youth?

Related reading

Larry Goldstein and The Roxy Theatre of Carleton Place

Billy the Kidd’s Mistress — Roxy Theatre Time

Memories of Carleton Place — The Roxy and Marilyn Monroe

Did You Know Who Began the Mayfair Theatre? You will be Shocked!

William McIlquaham From The Theatre to the Fire

The Star Theatre–or Funny Things Said in a Local TheatreMemories of the C.P. Cinema –Carleton Place Theatre
Almonte at Night — 1946
Seeds of Love–Almonte Cinema – Then and Now

Related reading:

Larry Clark Memories : Billings Bridge, Willow Trees and the Orange Lodge

Skating on Fraser’s Pond and Hobo Haven — Larry Clark

Glory Days in Carleton Place– Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Your Veribest Agent

A Personal Story — Caught in the Ice– Rocky Point- Larry Clark

15 Cents for a Movie– Memories of Ray Paquette

15 Cents for a Movie– Memories of Ray Paquette


In response to: “Larry Goldstein was a huge part of some our local kids lifestyle in the 1930s. Larry dealt in scrap metal and paper in a big way. On Saturday morning some of the Carleton Place kids would collect piles of newspapers and pieces of iron as much as two American Flyer wagons would hold”. From-Larry Goldstein and The Roxy Theatre of Carleton Place
Memories by Ray Paquette 
The Roxy Theatre was under the management of Bob Jack in my youth but the price of admission for the Saturday matinee remained at fifteen cents. The quarter that I was given as an allowance would gain me entrance to the movie (a cartoon short, a serial and a “B” Western) and leave ten cents to be spent on popcorn at the “show” or a comic book at *Mac Williams Drugstore on the way home.
Perhaps a correction is in order. I seem to recall it was Bill Irwin, not Irvine (corrected, thanks Ray) who owned the Playfair Bowling Alley, initially at the corner or Bridge and Mill streets (two lanes I believe) and later at the current location across from the Post Office. Mr. Irwin sold the bowling alley to Laurie Melrose and went into the real estate business.
Carly Holtzman 

My grandmother Hindalea (Hindy) is Larry’s third child and also third daughter. Larry married Betty Claman in 1934 and they had 5 children. Larry passed away in 2002. This article made my grandmother very happy and we would love to keep it on record for our family.



Related reading:

*Before and After in Carleton Place — Mac Williams and The Good Food Co

Memories of the Olympia & Howard Little Fire-Ray Paquette

Glory Days in Carleton Place- Ray Paquette

Billy the Kidd’s Mistress — Roxy Theatre Time


I am not a fan of bad guys– maybe only the ones I shouldn’t have dated in life- but this story captivated me and after I researched a lot of newspapers I said what the heck–it’s not local but I wrote it anyways.

What started it was that The Outlaw was one of the most popular Saturday afternoon films at The Roxy in Carleton Place. So once I got going in research, I couldn’t stop. Of course I didn’t want the basic stuff, I wanted to know D E T A I L S.


Article in Almonte Gazette 1882

Nellie Heftett has seen a great deal of wild life for a a girl of 20. She married Tom Pickett– went with him to new Mexico where they joined the band of Billy the Kid. She was a crack shot fine horsewoman and pretty. After Pickett was killed she became the wife of Bawdry the second in command and when he was killed she found a third husband in Billy the Kid. Many stories are told of her exploit whether acting as a spy in female attire.

So was this wild woman? This is what I literally dig up.

Billy the Kid never married, he didn’t get the chance since he was shot down so early in life. The Kid was indeed a lady’s man and “fooled around,” so it’s quite possible he fathered at least one child. Rumors and hearsay have given the names of several young ladies who may or may not be mothers of Billy the Kid’s child or children (if he even had any).

In 1882 a number of newspapers in the United States reported the death of a Nellie Pickett, supposed outlaw. These articles all claim that not only was she “the wife” of Charlie Bowdre at the time of his death, but that she also became the wife of Billy the Kid while he was on the run from the law.

I can’t find much on this woman, but I suppose it’s possible that she might have been something like the gang’s official “groupie” and considered herself the “wife” of whichever one she was having relations with at the time.


Sallie Chisolm is on the right – maybe Nellie on the left? Sallie Chisum 1858-1934. Niece of Cattle King John Chisum. Sallie lived with her famous Uncle at his South Spring Ranch in the Pecos Valley. While there, Sallie would meet all the particulars of the Lincoln County War, including Billy the Kid, who would gift her with Candy

Dallas Weekly Herald; Aug. 24, 1882; pg 5
The Death of Nellie Pickett, the Noted Female Bandit
The following concerning Nellie Pickett, who formerly resided in this county, and in which Sheriff Pat Garrett, of Lincoln county, New Mexico, who is also a native and former resident of this county, is mentioned, is taken from the Chicago Times.

Nellie Pickett, the most noted female character ever in the territory of New Mexico, died a few days since at Fort Sumner, aged 24. She was born in Lafayette county, Missouri. When she was healthy, vivacious and pretty she married Tom Pickett and moved with him to Dallas, Texas. They lived there a year and then came to New Mexico.

At the time of the Lincoln county war, in 1880, Pickett became a member of the band of Billy the Kid, and after the war was over Nellie joined him, and herself became a member of the gang of bandits. She was a fearless horse-woman, a crack shot, beautiful, and with great strength of mind. She ruled the band with despotic sway.

Pickett was killed in a fight with officers, when Nelly became the mistress of the first lieutenant, Charles Bowdry. Dressed in male or female attire, as suited her purpose, she acted as a spy for the gang, carrying messages from one rendezvous to the other. When in male attire she always rode in a buckskin suit astride a horse. Bowdry was killed in the fight with Sheriff Garrett and his posse. She was as true to him as his own wife. She found his body after the fight and buried it.

Billy the Kid succeeded finally in winning her affections. Last year, while a heavy price was on his head, he visited her at Fort Sumner. While there Garrett ascertained the facts, entrapped and killed him. So, if I get this right Nellie Pickett was the reason Billy the Kidd was shot? If so this gal wouldn’t have needed any backstage passes at rock concerts. She could have shot her way in.

It’s one for the Believe it or Not files.


Pickett, Nellie
Sierra Journal 8-24-1882 Nellie Pickett, who was one of the prominent characters of Billy the Kid’s gang in New Mexico, and at the time of his death was his mistress, died at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, one day last week.


Billy the Kid—playing croquet with his gang known as The Regulators. Guijarro also thought he recognized the Kid’s best friends Tom O’Folliard and Charlie Bowdre in the photo-4×5-inch photo depicting Billy the Kid, left, playing croquet in 1878. Photograph: Kagin’s

Related Story

Multimillion-dollar photo of Billy the Kid playing croquet was $2 junk shop find