from the Joe Sonderman Photo Collection
I don’t know about you, but I love to look at old photos, especially ones with old signs, cars, and buildings. The above photo has it all.
One can see the Cuba Theatre where Wilbur Vaughn and others from Cuba use to work. Probably a lot of budding romances took place while viewers watched Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and other silver screen greats. In 1948, Bette Davis herself would visit Cuba. When Wilbur took her photo, her male companion chased Wilbur down the street. Wilbur managed to escape his clutches and printed the photo in a darkroom closet of the theater. The photo was in the Cuba News and Review the next week. And the incident would be depicted in the Cuba Free Press Mural.
The Gilbey’s Gin salesman’s delivery van is priceless. Because of the old gangster movies, I thought that style of vehicle was just used for bank robbery get-away cars.
The ever-present Coca-Cola sign in the Cuba Drug window is a slice of Americana. Susie’s Cafe probably served Rt. 66 travelers a lot of blue plate specials, pie, and coffee.
Today, the East Office Bar & Grill still serves up some pretty good food to Rt. 66 travelers and locals alike at this location. You can probably still find a bottle of Gilbey’s Gin inside. The theatre is dark now although you can still see the old ticket window. The Wagon Wheel Motel up the street is still open, and people still travel Rt. 66 looking for nostalgia.
If anyone remembers any facts or old stories about these locations, sign in and leave a comment. What kind of business was the Red & White next to the theatre? Sometimes history is written not in the books but in the conversations of the people who lived it.