Not so very long ago, the Cultch was dead set on knocking down the old church rectory next door to the theatre on Venables, a building known as the Green House. It was used for years as administrative offices and rehearsal space for the Cultch but has for some years been allowed to decay. Manage-ment wanted to replace it with a box-like York-Theatre-like modernist block.
The neighbourhood was appalled. Many argued the Green House was an important heritage asset. Others noted that the cost of renovation (including a new roof if required) was considerably less expensive than a demolition and a new build.
It is fair to say that on this occasion, the City listened and decided on a renovation and refurbishment project.
The folks at the Grandview Heritage Group are pleased to note the progress on the building. It is coming along quickly and we all look forward to its completion. For ongoing reports on the Green House from the last few years see “Green House” under Categories on the right-hand sidebar of the GHG site.
On this day in 1969 I was in Yugoslavia working as a Third Assistant Director on a movie called “Kelly’s Heroes“. I was nineteen years old and having a wonderful time working with the likes of Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Telly Salvalas, and a whole wild bunch of American actors. like Harry Dean Stanton and Dick Davalos.
We were living at the Petrovaradin Hotel in Novi Sad and most nights I joined the Americans in games of high stakes poker. We took over one of the small banquet rooms and several of the hotel staff were deputed to look after us with drinks and food. These games were a useful but expensive education for me; over a few weeks, I managed to lose several months’ worth of per diem expenses.
Our game on the 20th July 1969 coincided with the first manned landing on the moon and we arranged to have a black and white TV set up in the room so we could follow the action. I remember that, just as Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Eagle and on to the moon, we were in the middle of a game with a good-sized pot of American dollars piled in middle of the the table. We agreed to pause the game to watch the historic moment.
Several of us took the opportunity to stand and stretch for a moment. As I did so, I noticed that the American actors were glued to the TV screen intent on cheering their countrymen while the hotel staff ignored the TV and were all staring at the big pile of money, mouths agape.
It was an unforgettable night.