The historic Dreamland Theatre in Orange Walk Town, late 50's early 60's
My dad tells of a time when my grandfather Leonardo 'Missa Len' Ayuso would get 'blade up' every evening and put on his sombrero then walk out to Main St. to hang out in front of the fabled Dreamland Theatre with his buddies.
This building was eventually destroyed by fire [circa 1956-57] and replaced by another landmark, Tropical Theatre, where I spent many Sunday evenings at the 'matinee' watching karate movies. I remember going to see Brooke Bond Matinee by trading tea packets for free tickets. And raffles on a break during the movie.
Admission was $0.35 General Admission and $0.50 Reserve.
It was funny when a huge rat would shoot out of the holes in the tick casing on the walls, screaming because they were huge, and you can feel when they dashed across our feet. We had so much wonderful memories. One of the ticket sellers was so pretty and nice and would save my reserve tickets for my family. Let's big her up now, after all she is part of this history, Sabina Laskot. She was calm and so polite. Tuesday night was adults only double theater. I still remember Mr Lazaro walking in the isles with his flashlight the check on the love birds kissing and scolding them hahaha. On Thursday they would have matinee with brook bond labels..
I read that the establishment was owned by the Santiago Castillo Family. It appears that most, if not all theaters were owned by that family. I also have fond memories of Joyland Theater in Dangriga.
Later the Tropical Theater was in this location. Still memba Tropical Theater and right afta matinee tacos from Joaco . And yes karate movies dah mi dih hit dem time. Piknie use to sell pepetos outa match box. Tropical theater was in 60s Mr Felipe Sutherland work there too with his flash light checking dat everything go well. Donato Osorio worked at the door but that would have to be around 1967 - 68 when it was Tropical theatre.
Thank God the landmark still exists, its The People's Store. Let's protect and preserve our history,
I use to work at de tropical theatre selling tickets an taking ppl to were they will sit my brother Ismael was de boy rolling de movie dats was de best days, an wong selling pepitas on match box fu 1cent an Don Lazaro at de door collecting tickets dat was fun for us. Ana Escalante
I was in there that night watching d movie Treasure Island, starring Tab Hunter, when d fire started in John Burns store beside DREAMLAND! Hector (Toto) Urbina, Hernan (Charro) Urbina, Mito Baeza N one Acosta got burned in that accident at Gas Station of Miguel Urbina (Charro's father). Fuel Truck was delivering gas N caused fumes which was ignited by spark of electric switch in Charro's dark room, for developing photo films, which was in d small building of Gas Station. Toto N Charro were in d dark room, Mito N Acosta were in front of Gas Station. This happened around 1959.
DREAMLAND burned down around 1956 or 57. Eloy E Escalante Sr.
Photograph courtesy Omar Ayuso and the Banquitas House of Culture
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