Back in the 1960's, my grandmother and I used to catch the bus in the little town of Scotia, NY, where she lived, to go over the bridge to downtown Schenectady. Grandma used to call it "Going on the Peanut Bust". I don't know why. Except that there was a Planter's Peanut's Shop in Schenectady.
Once over the bridge we'd get off the bus in front of Carl's Department then cross the street to Wallace's Dept Store to see my Great Aunt Bessie who worked as the Account Manager of the store. Occasionally we would go to a movie at the Proctors Theater. It was a Theater built in 1917 during the Vaudeville days and in the 80's Hal Holbrook donated money for renovation of the Theater and a large Pipe Organ to keep it as a Historical as it was when silent films were shown.
photo is not one of mine
Look under the humble facade, is an "Arcade" which is a wide corridor that went from this entrance to the other side of the block where there was another set of double doors. Along the hallway there are Book and Music shops. In the 1960's there were "Head Shops" where we could buy jeans, peasant blouses from India, bongs, pipes and papers. Along the corridor there were also a couple of high end ladies clothing stores.
This is the stage and chandeliers within Proctor's Theater.
photo is not one of mine
In Carl's we usually took a potty break. Would you believe we had to insert a dime into the coin box of the stall door in order to use the to toilet?
They had to get rid of that in the 70's when women all over the country protested that paying to use the toilet was discrimination.
Can you imagine the scenario if men were told they had to pay to use the toilet. Heck, they'd go outdoor's and find the nearest tree. Women used to have to pay at Rest Area's on the highways when we were traveling, also.
Another "Different thing" was that in Proctor's theater there was a Ladies room with it's own Lobby. And there were leather couches where women could lay down when they felt faint when it was "that time of the month".
Sometimes we would eat at a Chinese restaurant, but most of the time we'd go to Woolworth's Lunch Fountain to eat.
We'd wander among the rows of counters where women attend to helping us find the five and ten cent items we were looking for. Threads, needles, shower caps, hair nets, hair pins, bun holders, jewelry, toys, safety pins, pens, writing paper, yarn, aprons, and seasonal Nick Knacks.
I think at the fountain I usually had the Bacon and Tomato Double Decker sandwich, on toast. Then Grandma & I would share an Apple Dumpling with Vanilla Ice Cream.
What a treat! Shopping with Grandma and lunch at Woolworth's!