A Fond Memory of Bloomfield Center

It was a brutally hot day. The year was 1957. My mother and I were in our house on Washington Street doing something. Maybe it was watching television or playing gin rummy, which we did a lot of, or maybe it was just being hot. I don’t recall.  What I do recall, very vividly, was the moment she said “let’s go to a movie. The Royal Theater has air conditioning.” So, in mid-afternoon, on a most unpleasant summer day, my mother and I trudged down Washington street to the Royal, not knowing or caring what was playing because the Royal had air conditioning. In those days air conditioning was a big attraction and the theater marquee sported a sign like this one, which was like seeing a mirage in the desert.

The Royal isn’t there any more, but my memory of it sure is. The air conditioning was cool (sorry), going to a movie in the afternoon was a bit like breaking the rules (which I still love to do), and it has, over time, become one of my fondest memories of my mother. Even the movie was somewhat memorable. It was called Boy on a Dolphin. I have no recollection at all of the story line. But the female lead was played by someone who late-adolescent boys sometimes thought about. (In fact, it was Sophia Loren’s first English-speaking roll…not that it mattered a great deal.)

Thanks for the memory, Bloomfield.

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