Thursday, August 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Sympathy for Pepperbelly’s, but memories of the theater

tony wade column sig

By
From page A2 | February 04, 2013 |

Like many Fairfielders, I was horrified at the fire at Pepperbelly’s. That night, my daughter Kaci and I went to see “Lend Me a Tenor” at the Missouri Street Theater, so we were very close. I went back Saturday to snap a few pictures to post for the “I Grew Up in Fairfield Too” Facebook group that has many members who no longer live here.

I really want to be careful with how I say the following so I am not misunderstood. The owners of Pepperbelly’s suffered a terrible loss. I mean them no disrespect. I have heard talk about a fundraiser and I stand ready to help.

That said: the thing that kind of has been gnawing at me is the way it has been covered in the media. Pepperbelly’s brought top-tier talent to our quaint lil’ burg.To be sure, the comedy club was beloved by many people.  But for numerous longtime residents the affection we felt was because that building was once the Solano Theatre/Fairfield Cinema I.

Pepperbelly’s had been around  for 12 or 13 years, but that corner building had been a theater since 1921. I am a little embarrassed to say that with the exception of my high school basketball coach Jay Dahl’s retirement party several years ago and a show by local improv group the Rats in the Alley last year, I’d never been to Pepperbelly’s.

I wasn’t boycotting the place – it’s just like how I’ve also never ridden the San Francisco cable cars. I just figured it would always be there and I’d get around to it.

I’ve written a column about the theater specifically and one where it was a backdrop for my past dating failures, so there’s no need to rehash them. Suffice it to say, I have years worth of memories there.

I wasn’t sure I’d ever been there with my wife since we married in 1994. She reminded me that we saw “The Brady Bunch Movie” there in 1995 (uh, not terrible, but obviously not exactly memorable) and sat in the balcony.

Other locals chimed in including Gordene Pienovi, who has several original chairs from the theater on her front porch.

Gordene Pienovi: “My husband and I had our first date there in February 1961. I like to pretend those movie seats on my porch were the ones we sat in.”

Janis Edwards: “I went on my first date there. Saw ‘West Side Story.’ In those days, movies ran in Fairfield very late after opening. A friend and I had to go to Vallejo to see ‘The Sound of Music’ when it came out, but otherwise Solano Theatre was where most of my dates took place in high school. Movies were one of the few activities around, other than school dances.”

Judy Anderson Engell: “ ‘The Poseidon Adventure’ on May 11, 1974 was my first date with Lory Engell. I  don’t remember much about the movie because I was so nervous, but we’ve been together since then!”

Patti Thoming: “In 1967 on a date with (my now husband) Lee we must have gone to see a comedy and this lady several rows in front of us started laughing and honking, grunting, and making the strangest sounds we’ve ever heard coming from someone. Next thing you know the whole theater was laughing not at the movie, but at her! We were so exhausted by the time the movie was over. I think that’s the best movie we never saw!”

Sandra Ward: “It was my first job in the ’80s, and such fun! We were high schoolers earning gas money, money to go on dates, and we didn’t care we were making minimum wage. Our major perks were free popcorn and soda (all we had to do was supply our own bowls and cups), and 50-cent movies when we weren’t on the clock. Friendships were formed (still lasting today). It was a dream job for a high schooler!”

Cindy Sutton: “Saw ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ there. Told boyfriend’s mom (she had four boys) the movie was about a woman whose baby turns out to be the devil. She tells me matter-of-factly, ‘They all do.’ ”

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at kelvinsbrother@sbcglobal.net

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Diane Downing-McGraugh (Morgan)February 04, 2013 - 8:59 am

    That is where is fell in love with Elvis Presley. I saw the movie "Blue Hawaii" and back in the day where you could stay and watch it over and over all day long. If I remember correctly my mother would give me a dollar and that would cover the movie, popcorn, and a soda! Then when our family really splurged we sat in the balcony. I have many memories in that building, very sad to see this happen to it!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 04, 2013 - 9:29 am

    I remember going there when I was about 12. Admission was 35 cents. I don't remember what movie I went to see and I don't remember the title of the movie I saw. But I do remember the look on my mom and dad's faces when I told them that it wasn't the movie I thought was playing, but one starring somebody named, Bridget Bardot.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Brian KleinFebruary 04, 2013 - 9:35 am

    Many fond memories of the old theater. My earliest being the 50c Saturday matinees featuring Tarzan and Lone Ranger movies interspersed with Woody the Woodpecker cartoons. I saw many of the famous Disney movies there. And then there was Star Wars. My last memories of old Fairfield Cinema I are of the 1981-1982 time when the started The Midnight Movies. Mostly rock genre movies like Led Zeppelin's 'Dazed and Confused' and Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Freebird: The Movie'. That's about the time the city banned cruising Texaz St., and the rest is history.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • StR the system is censoring me againFebruary 04, 2013 - 9:44 am

    Oh Goody

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • LilFebruary 04, 2013 - 5:59 pm

    When I was in high school, that move theater played a huge role in our lives. That is where I saw Grease, which was the Twilight of our times. It's where I had my first movie date (Star is Born with Barbara Streisand). I saw Star Wars there. My friend Aurora and I were flashed by the Fairfield Flasher when we coming out of after a movie. I remember standing in line waiting for the movie and the cruise going by with people yelling hi from their cars. Such good memories of that place.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Locke an unparalleled universe in the Delta

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Small-town heroism on display in Napa

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
 
Review set for Vacaville fitness center suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield motorcyclist hurt in Beck Avenue crash

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Logue misses meet with Libertarians in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Chamber event looks at health care law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Winterhawk Winery up for auction

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

.

US / World

Boy hurt in California quake: ‘I should be dead’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Lawmakers approve groundwater management bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California sets ride-sharing insurance standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Feds allow logging after huge California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California beach town sees flooding from hurricane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California Senate passes gun restraining order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

US to consider spousal abuse in immigration claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
UK sex abuse report prompts outrage, reflection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Q&A: Few laws govern children at shooting range

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Mom pleads for release of captive US journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Israeli premier, Hamas declare victory in Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Q-and-A on Westerners who join the fight in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Sources: US considering new relief mission in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Shooting by 9-year-old girl stirs debate over guns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
.

Opinion

Let’s improve entertainment control units

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Seizing the day with old friends

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11

 
Poor constituent service no longer acceptable

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 28, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My boss insists that we all eat lunch with her in cafeteria

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Chris Soules is ABC’s new ‘Bachelor’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

John Lennon’s killer sorry for being ‘an idiot’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Reality star accused of rape, child molestation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Source: BET suspends producer after Blue Ivy joke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Judge lets ‘X-Men’ director’s accuser drop lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Rapper Young Jeezy pleads not guilty to gun charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Cops’ crew member killed in Omaha police shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Maria Sharapova comes through in 3 sets at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr to start vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fuld’s homer in 9th lifts A’s over Astros 5-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Posey hits game-ending 2-run homer for Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Keenum, Savage to settle Texans’ backup QB duel vs. 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

USC’s Shaw admits to lying about injuries, rescue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
IndyCar sets April 12 New Orleans date

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

No. 23 UNC suspends 4 players for opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Clippers sign Doc Rivers to 5-year extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal needs more from its running game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Kevin Hogan a ‘stabilizing agent’ at QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Chicago’s Little League champs return as heroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
NFL suspends Browns star WR Gordon for 2014 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders hope rebuild pays immediate dividends

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
After trio of near misses, 49ers chase Super Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US economy forecast to grow by 1.5 percent in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Reports: FBI probes JPMorgan hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Time Warner Cable says outages largely resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Video games come of age as spectator sport

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Malaysia Airlines set for shakeup after disasters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

SEC adopts rules on loan-backed securities

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Stocks drift higher; S&P 500 holds on to 2,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Gary Allen Person

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Fernanda Dee Villarosa

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Herman P. Sorensen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Lyle R.C. Cullum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Frank W. Moy Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9