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I went to grade school at the top of the hill from the South entrance. Spent lots of summer nights in the 70’s with friends there. The place never opened until late springtime because the Blackstone River encircling it usually made a real mess during the floods from winter thaw. One big, shallow pond with mailbox posts sticking up in neat rows.
I remember going to see the Batman Movie at the Leroy in 1966, starring Adam West, Burt Ward, Lee Meriwether, Burgess Merideth, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, Alan Napier. And seeing Harry Chapin at a live concert in 1977.
I went to many weekend matinee shows at the Lafayette as a young boy in the 1960’s, and saw the classic Disney films at evening shows. My mother grew up on Ledge St, where her parents lived in the same building as the Rocheleau family. (Ledge St, is the adjacent side street in the photo showing the place as a church). I helped with odd chores as a way to earn a free pass into shows at the Holiday Cinema. The projection booth is the small, square brick room seen above the front marquee. The fire escape hanging over the Ledge St. sidewalk is at the side of a small (rarely used) balcony in front of the projection room. I recall the large projectors that always needed the carbon arc rods changed (projector light was blinding because it used rods similar to welding rods for cutting metal), and the way a projectionist needed to watch from the small window for the cue markers in the corner of the screen which signaled to swap between the two projectors. The leader for the cue on some 2nd run and older films sometimes got damaged, so film studios tried making projector swap coincide with ‘fade-in/out’ to avoid cutting a chunk of action or dialogue.