Saving Lakewood's History, Love And Respect Is The Way

As remembered from this photo, the last it was turned on. Photo taken at the exact minute, the last showing of a movie was started.

While the Westtown CDC works to save their local theater, the Variety, we lost most of ours, only the historic Phantasy Theater still stands for the time being.

A few of us have worked to keep some of Lakewood's historical highlights that have been cast aside, unloved and rejected. There are virtual Lakewood museums all over town, not just at Lakewood Historical Society, which is the chief collector of Lakewood History and deserves all of our support. However in many yards, gardens, and even offices, you can see bricks from schools torn down, old stained glass, lamps, pews from churches, popcorn machines, even furniture and fireplaces that helped define many a historical moment in Lakewood and nearby. A perfect example is the fireplace at Vosh, which many of us remember as the fireplace from the Lakewood Country Club. Purchased and restored by Lakewood's #1 entertainment entrepreneur Mickey Krivosh and Bing. But as we are talking theaters and history, and the Lakewood Historical Society is celebrating its 7th Annual National Historic Preservation Month, we give you the saving of the historic Detroit Theater sign.

The second sign has been sitting on my porch as I looked for a proper home for it. I asked the Historical Society, and LakewoodAlive, neither seemed willing to take the 14' one piece sign, and both doubted they had funds to rebuild it. So slowly with the help of Glen Palmer at Lakewood Hardware, we got the some of the old, hard-to-find items we needed, working with friends at Brilliant Signs and AGS Graphics, we were able to rebuild, retube, and get the sign changed from 220 electrical power, to 110. Finally, with some borrowed tools from Slife Heating and Cooling, and Dave Slife and Glen Palmer’s knowledge base, we were able to finish the project in time for National Historic Preservation Month!

Matt Fish of Melt, has offered to give it a home, but is unwilling to promise it will always stay in Lakewood, though he is committed to the city. So it certainly looks like we might be close to finding it a pretty permanent home. If anyone knows of any place where it could go, and stay for a long long time, drop the Lakewood Observer a note, and we will be happy to talk with them, to see if it can be worked out. Until then the two signs are three blocks from each other for your viewing pleasure and as a reminder what fun we all had at the Detroit Theater.

Thank you to Sitech Inc. which helped to save the signs, and the green tiles that made up the ticket window. Thank you to Mickey Krivosh, family and crew, especially Bing for helping on such short notice, and following through. As they always have, year after year after year. Thank you to Glen Palmer, and everyone at Lakewood Hardware for their deep knowledge of old stuff, and fundamental electricity. Thank you to Dave Slife, for so many things but this time, helping me with not having to buy a $100 drill bit from Glen at Lakewood Hardware for 1 hole. Glen offered me his, but that seemed rude, so I dragged Slife Heating and Cooling in, which brought help from everyone there, along with a free cheeseburger! Thank you to the neighbors that have continued to push for the renovation and have signed off on this porch art. Thank you to the many people that have helped, talked, asked, or told us about what the sign meant to them. And as always thank you to Deb O'Bryan, who has been a complete partner in so many of these projects, and tolerates so much, you are the best.

One more project from all of our hearts to your eyes and memory.



Jim O'Bryan

Publisher, Lakewood Observer, Inc.

Read More on Historical
Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 5:02 PM, 06.07.2016