Some good news for fans of drive-ins: Montclair’s Mission Tiki Drive-In won’t close near Christmas after all but will remain open through next summer. The developer doesn’t need the property right away, so the drive-in will keep showing movies and hosting a swap meet through winter, spring and summer. I write about that in Friday’s column, along with sharing some of the reaction to its closing.
“It gets your attention,” Montclair mayor says approvingly of the new electronic reader board sign at Montclair Place mall. What do you think? Also: a jazz musician leaves the area in style, a “Motherless Brooklyn” screening is hosted by the novelist whose book was adapted, and more, all in Wednesday’s column.
Montclair’s drive-in opened in 1956 and is closing for good in late December due to years of slowing business. The property has been sold for a business park. I offer the details and the drive-in’s history in Friday’s column.
Montclair has a big new piece of fire equipment, bought at a relative bargain price. I write about that, and then dip into the ol’ mailbag for recent-ish reader comments about Bruce Springsteen and Ritchie Valens. That’s all in Wednesday’s column — plus a Valley Vignette teasing Friday’s column.
I revisit the Montclair Plaza sign, which came down last Friday, by rounding up some reader comments, determining that the sign wasn’t quite as old as originally stated and, going farther back, noting the Christmas star that was placed on the original sign annually. That’s all in Wednesday’s column, along with a Valley Vignette from neighboring Upland. Above, a portion of the story photocopy referenced in the column that has the sign images, the middle one being the almost-forgotten mid-period sign.
The 100-foot sign along the 10 Freeway for Montclair Plaza is coming down next week. It will be replaced, later this year, by a digital sign. I offer the scoop on that, as well as a report about a Chino Valley newsman at 90 and some former grapevines in Rancho Cucamonga, in Wednesday’s column.
I attended an event at Montclair Place mall Monday at which city officials signed a bright yellow girder that will be placed in the AMC 12 now under construction. You can sign it too. After all, I did. This novelty event is the subject of my Wednesday column.
Independent shop Bill’s Auto Service could no longer compete in a changing world. Two brothers have operated the shop that was founded by their father in 1963. I write about them for Friday’s column. Above, Brian and John Brew in their shop Tuesday.
I gave up my Monday evening to make an unplanned visit to the Montclair City Council meeting — and am glad I did. Perhaps you will be too after you read Wednesday’s column.
Sometimes topics hang around a while before becoming a column. A case in point is Sunday’s, in which I belatedly write about John Darnielle’s book “Wolf in White Van,” published in 2014, read in 2017 and finally a column in the back half of 2018. Still, from your standpoint I hope the delay doesn’t matter. “Wolf” is almost certainly the first major novel, and perhaps the only novel period, set in our very own Montclair.
If enough people read the book and respond, or simply respond to my posed questions about certain settings in the book, there will be a follow-up.