It’s Black Friday, a holiday which seems to have surpassed Thanksgiving and Christmas in news media attention. As for me, I’m staying as far away from retail environments as possible! I will gladly leave all that shopping madness to others, thank you very much.
I thought I would take this opportunity, though, to tell you about a great FaceBook page which I discovered recently, called Burbank in the 60s. It was put together by Debbe Bowser Smith, a Burroughs High graduate of 1970. She has posted a bunch of pictures of Burbank stores and other establishments as well as photos of nostalgic items. Here are some of my favorites:
Look! here’s a picture of McDonalds on Olive Avenue. You can see that a hamburger only cost 15¢ and they had only sold 1 million! Apparently this photo was taken when the restaurant first opened. Of course, the restaurant has undergone many renovations since then.
Unbelievably, the cheeseburger was only 4¢ higher, at 19¢; and french fries were only a dime!
By the time we graduated in 1968, the price of a hamburger had gone up to 18¢.
On the other end of the dining spectrum is a picture of The Smoke House. The Smoke House was built at the end of the Second World War (1946) and still exists today. It originally was located at the corner of Pass and Riverside Avenues but was moved to its present location in 1949. Many local celebrities were seen at the Smoke House and it still enjoys a reputation as a fine dining establishment.
There’s a story that has been passed around my family for years and years about when I went there as a toddler. I apparently enjoyed the meal so much that I (allegedly!) proclaimed: “Let’s eat here EVERY DAY!” Of course in those days, it was considered a place for special occasions only, probably due to the menu prices.
And how many movies did you see at the Cornell Theatre on San Fernando Road? It first opened on November 18, 1949 but was torn down in 1980 after closing in 1978. That’s where I saw “Gone with the Wind.”
And speaking of retail establishments, we can’t forget to include Martino’s Bakery, which now is located on Victory Boulevard. Here’s an excerpt from the Martino’s website: When I think of Burbank , California , only two places come to mind: the original Bob’s Big Boy and Martino’s Bakery . . . There’s something about Martino’s Bakery that has kept customers coming back for over three-quarters of a century. My guess for its success? One thing: Martino’s tea cakes. Actually, the first time I’ve physically stepped in to the bakery was last week, but I had seen, tasted and savored Martino’s tea cakes long before. My mother grew up in Burbank , and her siblings and my grandparents have boasted about Martino’s tea cakes for as long as I can remember. Hence, I was born and grew up hearing about these wondrous little pastries. (Kristin Franklin)
Debbie Martino was in our Class of 1968!
Don’t forget to check out the Burbank in the 60s FaceBook page!