Narration by Bill Fall
The projectionist in the picture is Rupert Yard, long time projectionist at the Balboa Theater. He was there in the early '60's when I worked there. I was the doorman.
Picture 7 is the ladies waiting room. Picture 5 is looking across the lobby looking towards the ladies side of the lobby. Remember there were water fountains at each of the large mirrors on each side of the lobby. The candy concession stand was in the lobby and the machines replaced the ladies who used to come up from the clubhouse to sell candy and popcorn. That came in in the 60's. One of them used to come in and pop the corn using the old corn popper they had in the alcove and store it in large plastic bags for the day. Some one had to take the top off the two machines and load them when they ran out. The doors on the right side had to be opened up after the show ended and closed before anyone could sneak in before the next show started. I had to do that and then check all of the exits to make sure they were closed after the show. The outer lobby had the cashier and led either to the clubhouse or the outside by the sidewalk to the commy. There were offices behind the cashier's booth and under the seats in the balcony as you go into the men's room. A full time sign painter worked in there during the week and painted posters and signs for all of the theaters. His name was Douglas. The doorman had a desk in there too, to bag the half of the ticket he kept.
Picture 6 is the men's lobby. The bathroom was around to the left side. Cleanest bathroom on the Isthmus. Red if I recall.
Picture 4 up at the top of the balcony is the cry room long window. Door to the right is the exit on sosa hill side (there were 3) going out into the sunlight after an afternoon or Saturday morning matinee was brutal on the eyes. Narrow stairs to the cry room and to the projection booth as well under the moustaches in photo 3 are the exits the one on the left also led to back stage. We had a live show in 65 featuring the Chilean Beatles. The girls went wild. The Balboa Theater putting on something like that was like Elvis on Ed Sullivan. They were also very conservative about the music that could be played before the movie started.
Photo1 has the cry room at top right. the ramp in the middle leading back to the lobby had a heavy curtain that was closed towards the end of the movie when we started to let people into the lobby for the second show so they would not see the ending.
I had to change the posters in the clubhouse and over by the post office as well as under the marquee. The marquee sign had to be changed. I almost got fired for misspelling the name of an obscure actor. I got $2.56 per show. The usherettes were paid less. We had one doorman, a cashier, 2 usherettes, and an usher, and a supervisor for the evening shows. The doorman was in charge for the matinees. We used to hide from her. The projection booth was the best place to hide. I could see her looking all over for me from the window. She couldn't see me and she wouldn't go into the booth. She barged in one time when Rupert was on the can, and never again after that. That was a great theater and I enjoyed working there. We all had to wear white shirts, black pants, black shoes and a black tie. Ladies had to have white blouse and black skirt and I think a black vest.