In the Pipeline: Magic in the microfilm

December 21, 2011

A snapshot of Huntington Beach 50 years ago today, Dec. 22, 1961, courtesy of the Huntington Beach News:

There was a groundbreaking for the Nordlund Village Center on Beach Boulevard between Heil Avenue and Terry Drive. It was announced that soon there would be another big groundbreaking, for the Driftwood Inn on Pacific Coast Highway near Beach.

At the M&M Market at 218 Main St., ground chuck was 39 cents a pound. Over at the Standard Market, at the corner of Main and Walnut Avenue, ground chuck was 38 cents a pound, yams were 10 cents a pound and "pork chops for the holidays" were 49 cents a pound.

Mandic Motors at 424 Main St. was also in the holiday mood, offering "last minute holiday gift ideas" like a 1960 Ford station wagon for $2,195, and a 1953 four-door Oldsmobile Sedan for just $395.

Jean Turner, who wrote the whimsical "Murmurs of a Beach Town Philosopher" column, started her weekly piece with: "Returning from Baja, California (Old Mexico) — after seeing the want of food, clothing and supplies makes for tears in your heart."


The surf film "Slippery When Wet" was showing at the Huntington Beach High School auditorium, and "White Christmas" (along with "Make Mine Mink") was playing at the Surf Theater. At the Warner Drive In, located at 7361 Warner Ave., "The Young Doctors" was on the bill.

Huntington Beach High lost its first basketball game of the season during a home tournament, 67-58, to Chaffey High (from Ontario, California).

Plans to build 2,800 homes "on ocean frontage" were announced this day, thus giving birth to Huntington Harbour. And Santa Claus was to appear at the Huntington Beach Lanes, a bowling alley located at Beach and Yorktown Avenue. It was advertised that on Christmas Day, you could also visit the lanes for dinner, $2.50 per person, or save a bit and enjoy the Swedish smorgasbord at Villa Sweden, located at 522 Main St.

Chanel #5 was a big holiday seller at Terry's HB Drugs at Main and Walnut, and at 107, a café and cocktail lounge located at 107 Main, food was being served during the holidays by cook Elaine Tinsley, "former cook at the Green Shack Café."

Why did I choose to take this peek back at what it was like here 50 years ago to the day?

A moment of whimsy, I suppose.

Even though I didn't grow up here, I was curious what my adopted city was like on the day I was born (along with my twin sister, Margaret), 50 years ago today in New York City.

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