Saturday in the Park

Growing up just south of Montrose, Saturday usually meant getting together with friends and heading north to spend the afternoon in the Montrose Shopping Park.

Heading north on Verdugo Road we’d first pass by a lot full of shiny new Mercedes and Volvo automobiles. Do you remember Colonial Imports auto sales?

Next we’d stop to peek though the fence to get a glimpse of mangled wrecks of automobiles. Do you remember the vehicle impound lot at the northeast corner of Verdugo and Sunview?

Across the street we’d make a stop to gather supplies. Do you remember House of Kent Liquor? They had a great assortment of ice cream bars, gum and candy. No trip would be complete without purchasing some wax lips, wax moustaches or those little wax bottles filled with flavored syrup. Do you remember Nik-L-Nips?

One block north was Andersen’s Pet Shop, located where TileNCounters is now. Do you remember the outdoor cages with monkeys and guinea pigs? The cages are still there, though now filled with building supplies. Indoors were the fish, puppies and birds. Do you remember the Mynah bird that would constantly call out “Hello” to anybody walking by? Andersen’s is still in business, having moved up to Honolulu Avenue in Montrose.

Crossing Verdugo at Broadview and heading down the alley behind the shops on Honolulu, we’d use the rear entrance from the alley to one of the greatest places for kids in all of Montrose. Do you remember the toy department in the basement of P.B. Carroll’s?

Waxing nostalgic brings to mind a Montrose shop full of wax. Do you remember The Candle Tree? With candles of all sizes, shapes, colors and scents, The Candle Tree also had a workspace with vats of colored hot wax to make your own custom color-dipped candles.

The next stop was at the local ice cream shop. Do you remember the Baskin-Robbins in Montrose? Located where Umai Teriyaki restaurant is now, Baskin-Robbins had one long counter with barstools running the length of the building. Although the Montrose location is long gone, Baskin-Robbins, which started in Glendale, is still thriving with over 5800 locations worldwide.

Next up was the Montrose Bowl to play some arcade games. Do you remember the miniature electronic bowling game? Originally built to be a movie theater, Montrose Bowl is still in operation but mostly used for private parties.

Speaking of movie theaters, our last stop of the day was the local movie house. Do you remember the Montrose Theater? It was located on the spot that is now a parking lot for Andersen’s Pet Shop. Do you remember the automated drink machine in the lobby that would drop a paper cup out the chute and then fill it with your drink of choice? Sadly the Montrose Theater burned down early one morning in 1987.

After the movies, it was time to head back home for dinner. Do you remember Saturday adventures spent walking all over town with your friends, wandering in and out of shops, eating candy and ice cream – all without parental supervision?