Sunday, August 19, 2012

Flint on Film



Flint Expatriate John Mucha provides a healthy dose of late sixties-early seventies Flint in 8mm. This was originally posted on April 17, 2011, but it's worth a second look. It pretty much captures my earliest memories of downtown. It reminds me of an episode of Kojak.

35 comments:

  1. That was great! That building at the end... was that the old public library?

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  2. That's the old Dort House, later the Dort Music Center, I think. It was right across from the current main library.

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  3. Excellent video that brings back sweet memories of Flint at it's peak. I got drafted into the Army in mid summer 1969 and upon return in the spring of '71 things were changing! Thanks for the flashback!

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  4. Great images.

    The accompanying music track?........not so much.

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  5. Never been to Flint, but enjoyed the footage immensely. Who's the kick ass band?

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  6. Yeah, great video, but the music is always tricky. That song just doesn't say Flint in 1970 for me.

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  7. The song is in the movie "Almost Famous", I believe. It doesn't sound like the same version, though. There was some Michigan connection, like the story of a rock band from Michigan. I always thought that the movie was partly based on Grand Funk Railroad. My wife would always watch it on cable.

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  8. One Way Out by the Allman Brothers, from about 70 or 71.

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  9. A lot of fond memories popped up during that little trip around downtown. The Dort House's magnificent architecture still came through even though it was in tatters and charred. A fine reminder of what used to be...walking from my cousin's to Haskell with a towel tied around my waist on a hot summer day. Then back up to Welch Blvd. for a double dipper. Oh, to be a kid again.

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  10. Schiappacasse's-Great Peanut Brittle!

    Dr. Vett Cowles moved his office to Harrison St. across from The Flint Journal after being on Saginaw St. I think he practiced into the early 1980s.

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  11. Great stuff, John! Thanks for posting, Gordie. You're Flint expatriate extraordinaire! =^)

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  12. Pretty cool seeing the Milner arcade that should have never been torn down!!!

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  13. Remember the glass or plexiglass bricks in the sidewalk along the Milner Arcade? There was a basement area under there that connected to the underground stores.

    Who here went to Hatfield Records whenever they went Downtown? Remember there was an eerie looking basement area to the right as you came in the door. Does anyone know what was back there? I was never back there. How far down the street did it go? I assume it went under the sidewalk. For a while they had a sign back there directing you to "The Elton John".

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  14. Who was the "Milner" for whom the Milner Arcade was named? Was it W.L. Milner of Crowley Milner? In the 1960s, there was a Gene Milner who was a President, Manager, or Owner of WTAC. I have heard that Gene Milner was from a prominent family. Was it the same family as W.L. Milner?

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  15. I always find old photos and videos fascinating. I can't believe how bustling downtown Flint was! I was born in the mid-70s so none of that really looked familiar to me. Can someone give me an idea where some of this stuff was located? I recognize at least some of the buildings on Saginaw but I hardly recognized Flint!

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  16. Anon, I'll have to generalize, but I'm guessing a big chunk of the stuff you don't recognize were buildings on Saginaw that were demolished to build UM-Flint and the old Hyatt Hotel. I think there were also some buildings that were built over the Flint River on Saginaw that were also demolished. At the 1:05 Mark you can see a tall building. That was the Sill Building, which I think was torn down for UM.

    Haskell Community is still going, sort of, at the end of Hamilton Ave. in Civic Park.

    And the burned out building used to be directly across the street from the current main Flint library.

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  17. Yep, I was born in '73 and there was a ton of stuff in there that I wasn't old enough to remember either. I've always been a fan of Flint history and am amazed at how much really cool stuff from the first hundred years or so of Flint's story has been nonchalantly discarded. I kind of like the way the U-M campus looks now but between building that and constructing the expressways it looks like they've torn down half the town from the old pictures I've seen. There were several large houses with interesting architecture just down the street from the Dort mansion on Kearsley that were built by people like Bishop and Patterson that would have been nice to keep.

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  18. I could smell the fresh bread being made @ Tastee Bread & taste the coney's from US Coney Island, We use to go to the matinées @ the Capitol, Strand, Delta. Was that Flint Central towards the middle of the film? Good memories, so sad what has happened.

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  19. Hey Geminiguy... when you mentioned the theaters, did you mean the Della theater? It was on Welch Blvd. close to Chevrolet. I went there a lot with my grandparents. Loved the place. Too bad it got torn down to build a back, which has since been torn down...

    Hey geewhy... I had to laugh when you mentioned "the old Hyatt hotel..." I can remember when there wasn't a Hyatt hotel there! :)

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  20. Great piece on Flint back in the 60's; brings back a lot of memories. Schiappcasse's, wow, will there ever be candy like that anywhere again? Coney Islands, Taystee Bread, Capitol Theatre, so many great places! Didn't see any shots of a few of my favorite places though: Kewpie's (now Halo Burger), Uncle Bob's Diner on Harrison, 3rd Avenue Fish & Chips - all great places to meet & eat!

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  21. Born in '72 but I still have some fading memories of the old downtown Flint. By the time I hit Junior High/High School all that stuff was gone. I feel cheated. Thanks for posting.

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  22. Great to see the old Kewps, the Book Stall and all of old downtown. I was with John when he shot some of this, and it brings back a lot of memories. The old slide and jungle gym, etc. at Haskell is a real trip to see, same with our old grade-school, Civic Park. It's great you had the foresight John to film and then hang on to this footage.

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  23. I was looking for the Citizen's Bank weather ball. Also thought the hotel was the Pick Durant. Anyway, thank you for the fun trip back to the Flint I grew up in and remember. :D

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  24. Wow, too many things from the past. Great job John. Grew up a couple streets from John and went to school with him at Civic Park, Longfellow and Northern. Class of '73. Spent many summer days at Haskell, remember Comber's Market sponsoring our little league team. Downtown looks real familiar as I had to be there every Saturday to pay my Flint Journal bill. Tastee Bread, summer concerts in the park, ah the old days. Flint was a good place to grow up in back in the 60's and 70's. Thanks for the memories.

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  25. bettyd

    I grew up in Flint in the 40s and the 50s and lived there with my husband for a part of the 60s. I loved growing up there and have many fond memories.

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  26. Was the Dort Music Center replaced by the Flint Institute of Music which is/was? located in front of the Library? When I first saw it I thought it was the Michigan School for the Deaf.

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  27. Yes, the Dort Music Center, in the old Dort Mansion, was right across the street from the Main Library.

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  28. OMG...I grew up in Flint, now live in Troy. Makes me remember that Flint was once a great place to live.

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  29. Wow, a whirlwind tour of the great old city. Lots of memories, especially of the old Dort Music Center. I used to take private clarinet lessons there every Sat. morning with my wonderful teacher, Bennie Gregurick. I cried the day it burned. The Flint Youth Symphony used to rehearse in one of the formal dining rooms on the 1st floor. Poor Dr. Gerkowski...he put up with a lot. Thanks for the video, I would like to see more!

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  30. John,

    Man, oh man. That brings back some real good memories. Man, you could find anything you wanted or needed in Flint. It was the place to take a bus and go shopping. I remember me and my brother use to ride the bus from W. Pasadena & Dupont St., to downtown and go shopping. I remember my mother use to take us to go shopping for school clothes. Always ended up with some junky toy, but what a time! Great! What you have is real HISTORY! Thanks for sharing. - Mike Cook

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  31. The film is a Gem. I wish it had moved a little slower. Of course I remember most of those places. The Capitol never had matinees, other than showing their regular features. In my days, it was the State and the Strand next door that had all the old westerns, cartoons and chapter plays. The Garden around the corner had a lot of Hollywood teen movies and foreign (art) films. I managed the Della theater cir. 1960. I also worked for Butterfield theaters, and was relief manager at the Strand, Capitol, Palace, Regent, Della and Roxy. And the Garden, when it was operating. Later I managed the Royal, formerly the Rialto, and assistant at the Michigan when it was temporarily named the FOX owned by a Mr. Friedley.

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  32. Great footage, for sure. My Dad grew up with the Dorts, our house was right around the corner on Crapo. Somewhere I have photographs of the building that was on the property where the Flint Public Library is now.
    gone gone gone...thanks.

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  33. This was great; thanks for posting. My sister Sarah Swart and I were in Flint a week ago. Actually, it was not as bad as I expected.

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    1. Hi Gillian, Your mom and I were in a writers group together. I remember the brick house near the old St. Joe's Hospital. Flint has changed a lot, but not all of the changes are bad. I do wish, though, that more of the mansions on Kearsley St had been preserved. Love the Whaley House and am happy it was saved.

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  34. What was the name of the bar that was downstairs in one of the alleys, between 2nd and 3rd, Saginaw and Harrison?

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