Well, it didn't take long. One day they are simply putting up some safety
fence and the next, over a century of a community's history is reduced to
a heap of bricks, boards, stone and mortar dust.
How many stories do you think could be told about things that took
place in the Rand Theatre? If you grew up in Greenfield you have to have a
story about the Rand. Hopefully, you have at least one story you wouldn't
And what about the Snack Bar? I figure there are several books worth of
tales about the folks that worked and hung out in that tiny little
enclave. Hell, I could write half a book just about how much I miss their
cheeseburgers, chili and chocolate milkshakes!
Next to "Tiny's", in what was most recently Steven's
Hardware, was a building that housed several important elements of
Greenfield's history. At one time it housed the world's only
African-American owned automobile manufacturer and later, the beginnings
of what remains one of Greenfield's major employers, Greenfield Publishing
For much of my life the rooms on the second floor of that building were
home to the local Eagles Lodge. My father was a member, as were most of
his friends. Having known my father, and his friends, I can't imagine the
stories that could be told about what happened behind those closed doors!
|Rand Theatre ad for
February, 1957. Click ad to enlarge.
Gone also, is the building that was once home to a genuine service
station. The Sinclair station that sat there for so many years was but one
of the many places where a person in Greenfield could take their vehicle
and truly get it serviced. Today, you can get a tank of gas and a Snicker
bar. Air is extra and you have to, "serve yourself."
Well, you can't stand in the way of free enterprise, growth and
progress. But, there are many times when I think we Americans should be
taken to the wood pile and spanked. How did we ever arrive at a place
where we think a 100 year old building is too old? Our European relatives
still live in, buy in, eat in and drink in buildings that are centuries
old. But we, who tear down 25 year old ballparks, spend even more of our
wealth flying over the pond to see how quaint and lovely Europe is. Shame
To conclude, if you have a remembrance or story about any of this, and
would be willing to share, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
is in her mid thirties and lives in Seattle, Washington. I took
her to her first real movie at the Rand when we were visiting from
Columbus. It was Disney's Sleeping Beauty. She was three and she became
scared when Milificent turned into the Dragon and she tried to hide. I saw
my first movie there about twenty-five years earlier, Return to Treasure
Island, starring Tab Hunter. (There's a name you don't hear often.) My
Aunt Mary Miller, had taken me. In elementary school, several grades went
during school hours to see Ben Hur. I remember it well. It was so long,
that there was an Intermission. THAT made quite an impression on me. I
lived in terror of Leprosy for years after that. When I was a teen, a lot
of girls would go to the restroom to smoke. (Not me, of course.) People
actually smoked in the theater in those days. I found the purple strip
ceiling lights that stayed on during the features to be one of the
physical features of the theater that I remember most. Sammi Miller (Class
a little additional history regarding the half block that's in the
process of being demolished. First, the Norton Seed Company stood on
the property that became the Rand Theatre. Secondly, the Rand was
built for Kibler R. Roberts and J. Henry Davidson and opened its
doors on January 22, 1937. These two gentlemen also owned a
second Rand Theatre located in Lynchburg. Greenfield's Rand was
remodeled in 1947. Finally, the Rand was used as a set for a motion
picture several years ago. If anyone remembers the details regarding
this, please email me the info. Larry Chapman
I think the Rand Theater was the home for all of Greenfield,
young and old. I know all of my Saturday afternoons were spent
there. The cost of the ticket was 35 cents. My sister and I would
always stay to see the movie twice. I was at the evening
showing of the 1947 remodeled Rand. "Leave her to
Heaven" starring Cornel Wile and Jean Tierney was the featured
film. The theater was packed. I thought I was at a Broadway opening
night. The theater interior was so impressive. I
was so scared after watching "The Mummy" twice, that I ran
all the way home. The stage appearance of Sunset Carson was a big
let-down for my sister, who was younger then me. By the time he came
to Greenfield, he was big and fat. She cried because her idol was a
big disappointment. Boy, does that date me!!! Barb Sutherland
family and I were in the family viewing room upstairs
since my sister Ginger was a baby in the crib. We were there
to see the first "Jaws" movie. My mom started taking
me downstairs to go to the bathroom so I couldn't see anything
going down the stairs and when we got downstairs I was too
short to see over the back wall.So I started jumping up and
when I did it was just in time to see the scene where the
severed leg with the sneaker on it floated in the water. That
was a great memory! I've loved horror movies every since. The
family viewing room upstairs was the greatest invention since
sliced bread. We could all be in the room and talk if we
wanted to and not disturb anyone. I live on Long Island in
N.Y. now and brought my family back to Ohio for a visit this
past Memorial Day weekend so we actually got to see the Rand
ruins. Too bad. Amy (Penwell) Kahn
- The remembrance
I have about the theater was when my Mom, my sister, my
niece and myself went to see the "Gremlins". We snuck in
pizza, chips and our own pop. It was funny when people went to
the concession to buy pizza and the theater didn't sell pizza.
I also remember seeing grown-up couples in the back row making
out. Joy Gray (class of '82).
came across the site on memories of the Rand Theatre and
would like to share my own. I recall going there with my
sisters and friends to see a horror film which, I believe, was
entitled, "Them". It was about ants who had
grown to gigantic proportions due to encountering the
waste of a nuclear bomb set off in New Mexico.
Everyone was issued 3-D glasses to wear during the show. Does
anyone else remember these 3-D movies? This took place
in the fifties. Later we saw another horror movie, "The
memory is that of going to see Old Yeller" with Terri
Bergen. Both of us sobbed during most of the movie.
anyone out there remember the "Lyric"?
It seems that this theatre preceded the Rand but I'm not sure.
Hope someone can give input on this.
Federbush Dean, email@example.com