(Encore) The Belford
7/24/2013 6:00:00 AM
It sounds like a cliché from an old teen movie, but it’s true: I spent many a Friday or Saturday night in the trunk of somebody’s car keeping a warm case of Old Milwaukee company while cruising through the entrance to the Belford Drive Inn. I believe the theatre eventually caught on to my tricks and started charging by the carload.
For a few years, The Belford on East State (at the site of Showplace 16) was the social center of my universe. We all gathered, roamed between the two screens and occasionally even watched the movie. Friendships were formed, girls were met only to leave with the rich guy or football player and occasionally there would be a tussle between two social subgroups and/or High Schools.
All trouble al The Belford was diffused by one of the twin ushers. In fact, sometimes mortal enemies would bond over the question, “which twin was that”? I’m sure somebody out there can even remember their names.
The screens were taken down in the mid nineties (not imploded as I suggested) leaving enough memories for several sequels. Before I sign off, I’ll leave you with something I miss: The foil-wrapped cheeseburgers that sat all night under the warming lights. I still crave them today! And no longer can I find a snack bar wrapped in corrugated-metal siding.
Thanks to Steve Frevert who had this photo of a soon-to-be torn down Belford sign on the Rockford Rocked Facebook site. Check it out.