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Thoughts from the Publisher

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From private collection of Neena Strichart<br><strong> Vintage photo of Long Beach's Crest Theatre, which opened in 1947 and was demolished in 1978. The theatre, which was located at 4275 Atlantic Ave., had 1,163 seats.</strong>

From private collection of Neena Strichart
Vintage photo of Long Beach's Crest Theatre, which opened in 1947 and was demolished in 1978. The theatre, which was located at 4275 Atlantic Ave., had 1,163 seats.

by Neena Strichart

With today through Sunday being my Wilson High School 40th-reunion four-day extravaganza, lately I have found myself spending quite a bit of time reminiscing. Those who are in the mood to join me in a stroll down Memory Lane and remember businesses and events gone bye-bye in Long Beach will enjoy a list I found recently posted to my Facebook account.
After perusing the extensive line-up, I have added a few of my own long-lost favorites, in no particular order— identified in italics. Do you have any special memories of these places you’d like to share with us? Let us know. See the bottom of this page for our contact information.

My list:
Downtown Sears, Buffums Department Store, Walker’s Department Store, Phillips Chicken Pie Shoppe, Municipal Auditorium, Hippodrome and Pleasure Time Skating Rinks, Pacific Coast Club, Omar Hubbard Building, Beany and Cecil Restaurant, El Castillo Real, Harris Furs, Lockwood Furs, Marmion Company (their roasted peanuts are still available at Joe Jost’s), Woolworth, Kress, Fleet Locker Club, Franklin’s dime store on Anaheim, TG & Y, White Front Store, Carl’s Furniture, Aaron Schultz Furniture, Cinnamon Cinder nightclub, Marina Palace, Roxy Theatre, Ren Lee Chinese Restaurant, Olympia Restaurant, Jeans West, Marinello School of Beauty, Mr. Robert’s Restaurant, Star Jewelers, Arnold’s Restaurant in Bixby Knolls, Victor’s Fine China, Hilltop Restaurant and Southern California Military Academy in Signal Hill.

List found on Facebook!
Acres of Books downtown
Burgermaster hamburger stand in Los Altos
The Crest Theater in Bixby Knolls
Dooley’s Hardware in north Long Beach
Egyptian Pharmacy in Belmont Shore
Food Fair in Los Altos
Golden Lantern restaurant in the Plaza/Los Altos
Hamburger Henry’s in Belmont Shore
Inner Sanctum Tavern in Belmont Shore
Java Lanes on Pacific Coast Highway
Ken’s Restaurant in Bixby Knolls
Los Altos Bakery in the Los Altos Shopping Center
Miss Universe Pageant, held in Long Beach from 1952 to 1959
Northwoods Inn restaurant in Belmont Shore
Oscar’s Drive-In restaurant in north Long Beach and at the Traffic Circle
The Pike, downtown on the waterfront
Quigley’s department store, in Belmont Shore and the Plaza
Rusty’s restaurant in the Wrigley district
Shady Acres (miniature) Golf Course in north Long Beach
Tracy Theater on the Pike
Uncle Al’s Toy Corral in the Plaza
Valentine’s on Anaheim Street
Wanda’s Cafe on 62nd Place on the peninsula
The X-rated movie houses downtown in the 1970s
The YMCA building downtown
Zody’s Department Store in east Long Beach
Zed Records off the Traffic Circle
The YWCA building on Sixth Street downtown
Welch’s Restaurant in Bixby Knolls
Virginia Country Market in Los Cerritos
Uncle John’s Pancake House on PCH
Tastee Freeze on Carson Street
Scotty’s Pet Store in the Plaza
Rainbow Pier downtown
Quickie Chickie in Los Altos
The Plaza Theater in the Plaza
Old Mexico Cafe in the East Village
Mike’s Munchies, downtown and Marina Pacifica
Lonnie’s Sporting Goods in the Los Altos Shopping Center
Koon’s Motorcycles on Anaheim Street
Jolly Roger in the old Seaport Village
Imperial Hardware in downtown
The Hot Dog Show downtown
Green’s Hardware (Horace Green & Sons) in the Los Altos Shopping Center
Fiddlers Three restaurants, several locations in Long Beach
Eddie’s Bar on Broadway at Redondo Avenue
Drive-in theaters, particularly the Los Altos Drive-in and the Circle Drive-in
The Cyclone Racer at the Pike
The Blue Cafe on downtown’s Promenade
Alfred’s restaurant in Bixby Knolls
Mr. Jay’s on Ximeno and Anaheim
Mexico City Restaurant in NLB
CAL Stores on Carson
Two Guys in Bixby Knolls
Thrifty’s Drugstores
The Tenderloin in Bixby Knolls
Golden Drumstick near the Traffic Circle
Coles Markets
Iowa Pork Shops
Leilani’s on Second Street
Foothill Club in Signal Hill (Leilani’s and Foothhill were both owned by Don May)
The Towne Theater in Bixby Knolls
Welch’s Restaurant in the BK
Ken’s Hamburgers on the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Roosevelt Road
Grandma Sugarplums on 2nd Street
Jack’s BBQ on 2nd
Brownies Toys
Horace Green’s
Wards Furniture
Clifton’s Cafeteria


6 Responses to “Thoughts from the Publisher”

  1. Linn McClellan on June 11th, 2015 4:48 pm

    Hody’s drive in and walk in restaurant at the traffic circle; Jones’s Cafeteria downtown; The Whistle Stop hamburger stand on Fourth and Grand (ummmm, I can still smell those grilled onions around the corner in the Summertime); The Broadway Department store in Los Altos; Tenkhoff’s (sp.?) Drugstore at Fourth and Termino; Gemco in Los Altos (a Target store is there now).


  2. Patty on August 22nd, 2015 4:30 pm

    Anyone know the name of the horse back riding stable near shady acres? Back in the 70s.


  3. Uncle Tom on June 18th, 2016 6:16 pm

    I won’t forget the charbroiled steaks, with live music playing in the background, at the Hilltop Club, at the very top of Signal Hill. Also have fond memories of our neighborhood kids digging forts and playing in the open big field which later became Millikan High. (I liked it better as a big open field).
    An interesting stroll I remember was to visit old Pine Street on a Friday night, Back in the Day when navy ships would visit Long Beach, listening to the Panama and other sailor bars blasting live rock music out their doors, with many sailors strolling down the street enjoying their weekend liberty.


  4. Thomas Gardner on March 14th, 2018 5:39 pm

    Was the Broadway department store in the Los Altos shoping center originally a Walkers Department Store?


  5. Sharon on May 10th, 2018 2:38 am

    We lived there on San Francisco ave off Wardlow from 1956 to 1962. My uncle Tex Hickox owned Fresh Juice co. Signal Hill. My mom took us for lunch downtown to Thrifty Drug Store on Pine St. They actually had a cafe in the store where you could order toasted tuna sandwich or French fries.


  6. Sharon on May 10th, 2018 1:57 pm

    Ken’s Burgers was like a mcdonalds. The French fries and cokes were only a dime or so. The hamburgers were a quarter. There was a grocery store called Mccoy’s. We would go to The Lagoon in summer as my mom hated hot sand at the beach. The beach and pier were off Lyndon St. Or Cherry. There was a food truck that we got snow cones at. All the seniors lived at that big hotel there, and would lay in the sun all day tanning. We would walk to the candy butcher shop and then the Pike. Then take the Magnolia bus home to 32nd ave.


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Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
Thoughts from the Publisher