Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Currie's Ice Cream Parlor

I'm sure you all have heard the story of how Lana Turner was discovered sitting at the counter at Schwab's drug store. How many aspiring starlets rushed over there hoping to be discovered too? Well, as most myths go, there was an element of truth to it. Depending on who you believe, she was actually discovered at either Top Hat Cafe, or Currie's Ice Cream Parlor. This photograph shows what the interior of a Currie's looked like. These three lovely ladies are ready and willing to prepare a "Mile High" ice cream cone for their loyal patrons.


I have a personal connection to this photograph, being that the woman in the middle is my Grandmother. She has kept this picture on the mirror in her bedroom for years, and it always made me smile when I saw it. Growing up with Thrifty ice cream in what are now Rite Aid Drug Stores, I did not have the same grand ice cream parlor experience that past generations had. Unfortunately, Currie's Ice Cream Parlors are long gone and the large scale Parlors are a thing of the past. Sure, there is the Gibson Girl Parlour at Disneyland, but as far as I know that is about it here in Southern California. What I enjoy about the picture is how well stocked, open, and clean the place was. The uniforms are nice and more professional than you'll find today. You're lucky if you see employees wear matching Polo shirts with the company logo on them. But one thing that has not changed is the continuing rising prices. Notice the sign apologizing for the price increase. Wow, ten cents for a cone! Outrageous!

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38 comments:

VW said...

Hey Bob, I really enjoyed your picture and comments on Currie's Ice Cream Parlor. I have often remembered the joy of being given a dime so I could run down the street from my Aunt's apartment on Angeleno to the Currie's on San Fernando Road in Burbank during my childhood in the 40's. It was always difficult to decide what flavor I most wanted. According to some aerial photoshot map program I've used, the corner where Currie's used to be is now a vacant lot.
All sorts of things I remember from my younger years no longer exist: the Redline street cars, the house I grew up in, Van de Camps and Helms Bakeries. At least Griffith Park is still there. I hope to someday go back and take a drive around Burbank nearby areas. I think my Grandparent's house is still standing.
VW, now in northern CA

kitty said...

Talk about going down memory lane!! My mother used to work at Currie's Ice Cream Parlor and I have fond memories as a child going there and trying different flavors. To this day I remember Currie's mile high ice cream cones! In fact, I have been searching high and low for the ice cream scooper without any luck thus far. The search is still on. :-) It was fun reading the comment and of other long gone places like Van de Camps, Helms Bakeries and the Redline street cars. I live in Orange County now and things are great but very mundane. Memories have to be made together but not too many memories of places anymore. Oh well, I suppose that is the mark of progress. Loved to be able to find out at least a little something about childhood memories. Thanks.

Bob said...

Many thanks for the great piece on Currie's ice cream. Our family used to stop at the Currie's in Redlands in the 50s on the way to visit grandparents in El Centro. I regularly search for info on Currie's and your blog was the first I've found with much to say. As a fan of "forgotten" Southern Calfornia attractions, your site is a real treat.

Thanks again

Anonymous said...

I remember stopping at Curries on our way from San Diego to Taft, CA, to visit my grandparents in the 1950's.

My mothers flavor was Pistachio. To this day we still go to Rite-Aid to get Pistachio nut ice cream.

Anonymous said...

there is this singer from LA that mentions Curries... he makes reference to a lyric that states:
"I had no telephone, I'd scream meet me at the mile-high cone". Funny I never knew what he was talking about now it makes all the sense in the world!

Marc said...

Can any one tell me the name of the puppetry show that Currie's sponsored. It had characters resembling "Woody's Roundup". The main cowboy character's name contains a rotating wind, i.e. Tornado, cyclone...

mschreib13@cox.net

Bob said...

Sorry Marc, I have no idea about the puppet show. However, thanks for visiting.

-Bob

Anonymous said...

I have vague memories of Currie's, wasn't there one on Santa Fe in Long Beach or in Compton somewhere.
Didn't they sell like a large ice cream cone made from carboard and inside was candies and such kinda like a pinata, or am I just imagining this. jl 11/21/08

Anonymous said...

Dave says,
I remember my Mother pushing a stroller with me in it to get me a mile high at Curries Ice Cream on Gaffey St. in San Pedro, California. This must have been around 1953-1955. The building is still there but is now occupied by a differet business. Sure would like someone to share a picture of the San Pedro Curries with me.
terracasa_dave@yahoo.com
Dave

Anonymous said...

While looking up Currie's Ice Cream I came across this posting. My father-in-law talks often of helping his step-father who made ice cream for Currie's. He did not know if it was still around and I am sorry to see that it isn't. He grew up in the Long Beach area, and said this was the best ice cream he has ever eaten,and he is 83 and LOVES ice cream! Thanks for the info.

RAZ said...

Currie's in Culver City CA on the parking lot side of Culver Ctr St. Washington Blvd. The entrance was angled on a corner and the pole at the entrance was a giant ice gream cone maybe one story high. Does anyone have a photo of it? I cannot find one and would love to see it. Thanks!

Ecuabax said...

Bob, Ask your Grandmother if she remembers the radio jingle for Curries.

I think it was "Mile High Ice Cream Stores, Mile High Ice Cream cones, Mile High shakes double thick, hurry to Curries, double quick!
I remember the tune but no way to post it.

It was great ice cream but we didn't live close to any of the parlors. I believe there was one on Whittier Blvd in Whittier.

Thanks for the post.

bax

Ecuabax said...

I don't think anyone mentioned that the trade mark was a huge Ice Cream Cone Sign outside of the Parlor. You couldn't miss it driving or walking down the street.
bax

Anonymous said...

my mom owned a Curries in Glendora, Ca. It was 1969 and we wore white uniforms with pink aprons. I loved the cherry phosphates. I too have been looking for signs or menus and cannot locate any.

Anonymous said...

There was a Curries Parlor at Riverside & Fletcher Drive near Silverlake.
You could see it from the Glendale-Burbank red cars crossing the high bridge above it. That all ended when the red cars stopped running in 1955, but the Curries was still there.
When did Curries disappear and who were they bought by? Or did Baskin Robbins just kill them off?
Those were the days.
TAH

Anonymous said...

Oh, those were the days! Every time I got a vaccination at the doctors, I knew a trip to Curries wasn't far behind! I remember those little brown pitchers filled with hot fudge, that you got to pour yourself, for your sundae. I think "ours" was on Western Ave in L.A.

With fond memories,
P. E.

Anonymous said...

The Curries on San Fernando Road moved to Victory Blvd. in Burbank in the early 60' the store is now a Baskin Robbins. There also was one in Glendale on the corner of Central and California. We you go in there for malts after school and play the jukebox.

majskyking said...

Mercy!! Currie's in Belmont Shore was on Second Street/Ocean Blvd., across the street from a great bar called "The Talk of the Town". It's been gone a long, long time.

Red Cars? In 1946, my older brother and I took the Red Car from Long Beach (we lived at 45D Atlantic, one-half block from Ocean Blvd.) to the LA Collesium to see Bob Waterfield (who married Jane Russell) play for the LA Rams.

After the game, Jack and I walked to a Mile High close to the Collesium to have, if memory serves me correctly (at 76, always dubious), either a "Moron's Delight" or "Idiot's Delight". Whatever .... if you ate one, you'd get another for "free". Think they cost a buck, maybe more.

My memories of Curries.

I have a "work in progress" (for the past ten or fifteen years) that I intend to call "Things I Miss About Long Beach and Surrounding Towns" ....every time I write down a "memory", another items comes up or a friend will say, "Hey, what about .....?"

Currie's was fun, honest and innocent. How things change.

Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor has re-opened in Mission Viejo.

Now....I need some information about Wil Wright's!!

Bob King majskyking@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the name of the ice cream shop in Glendale across from Sears. It later turned into a Curries and then turned into a shoe repair store.
Penny from Burbank

Music by Doug and Sunny said...

November 5, 2010
I am not sure if this blog is still active. I was surprised when I did a search for Curries Ice Cream and your blog came up...
My brother and I lived in Huntington Park, Ca. in 1940's (even remember one night in the 40's when the air raid sirens went off and we had to go under the bed for protection...Anti-Aircraft guns and search lights were active..Really!) back to my original comments: I was trying to find the source for the best carmel topping I have ever tasted at Curries. We really loved the carmel sundays and the mile high cones. Ah! memories DD now in Central PA.

Anonymous said...

In 1957 I worked at the Curries on Pico Blvd. in West LA -- my first job and I was only 15. Making those mile-high cones was NOT easy-- and you developed amazing strength in the arm you used to scoop the ice cream. The post supporting the huge ice cream cone is still there -- but now it has a Maria's sign on it.

jamwood49 said...

I am delighted that majskyking mentioned the Moron's Delight. But it wasn't Currie's. An ice cream chain with an odd name like Punch & Judy Ice Cream Parlors bought up the old Chili Bowls, a Los Angeles landmark. They were smallish round building shaped like a chili bowl. The I.C. parlors featured creative ice cream dishes that dwarfed the banana split. Top of the list was Moron's Delight, eight scoops of ice cream with as many toppings. I ate one just once, finished it with the understanding that they'd give another one on the house. But I was feeling too urpy and walked out without collecting my free second round. I think they knew they were safe. They didn't give rain checks.

Gramatims said...

I remember the Curries's Ice Cream Parlor on Western Avenue near Adams Blvd. in Los Angeles as a young kid in the 50's. I loved those "mile-high" cones. I heard their jingle on the radio all the time: "...mile high malts, double thick, hurry to Currie's double quick..." Loved it!!! If you stepped outside and walked northward, you could then catch the "A" car -- the Adams Blvd. streetcar. Such fond memories of my childhood!!

Anonymous said...

My parents owned the Curries Ice Cream store on the corner of San Gabriel Blvd. and Las Tunas in San Gabriel during the late '30's and '50's. (They also had the Curries store in El Monte at 5 Points for a couple of years.) There was a tall cone at the front entrance and an American flag always flew on the flag pole outside. They served Hamburgers and sandwiches as well as ice cream. They were open everyday but Tuesday and The Red Car ran right past their door. My father sold Christmas trees in the parking lot in the back during December and fire crackers on the 4th of July. After Curries they sold Balian Ice Cream and then finally closed the store in 1958. Twenty two years in business! 1936 to 1958 Those were very happy years.

Joe C. on Zelzah Ave. said...

We had a Currie's Ice Cream Parlour in Encino, Ca. on the corner of Yarmouth and Ventura Blvd. I worked there in 1955 at the age of 15. I have one of the "Swami" machines that used to sit on the counter holding napkins and the Menu. For a Penny it would answer any "Yes" or "No" question. "Earth Angel", "Shaboom", and Earl Bosticks "Flamingo" was in the Juke Box. A guy named Art was the owner and wore a White Soldiers Cap.

Anonymous said...

Check out the movie, "The Two Jakes " with Jack
Nicholson. There's a scene of Jack driving his car
in Los Angeles , the year is 1948 and there is a
jingle on the radio about Mile High Ice Cream Cones,
The music sounds original, so does the locations of that time.

Rick said...

I would like to find out the names of the owners of Curries Ice Cream in San Gabriel. I was a young lad growing up in the City and remember going there. Anonymous please provide specifics!!

Pat said...

Currie's had some of the best fresh ice cream sold in So. Cal. They possibly were the first to have fresh peach (only when peaches were available). They also had a peppermint ice cream with ground up bits of peppermint candy. These were excellent summertime refreshments. Curries had a parlor on Whittier Blvd in Montebello, across from the old Montebello Jr. High. This facility was in service from around the early 30's, or late 20's, to whenever they closed (late 60's or 70's ?). They also had a parlor in Belmont Shore (Long Beach) very close to the Belmont Shore pier.

Anonymous said...

I lived with my parents in Magnolia Park in Burbank from about 1952 - 1959. We loved Currie's ice cream. My favorite was peppermint. In fact, today I bought a special Christmas peppermint Edy's ice cream contaner with Currie's in mind. Does anyone remember Albin's Toy Shop and Albin's Drug Store in Magnolia Park? Two great kid places for me. It's good to remember and read about. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I remember fondly the Currie's places on the traffic circle in Long Beach and on Firestone Blvd in Downey in the 50's. Great ice cream; they even had licorice ice cream for awhile.

mike macon

Allen said...

Thanks for bringing back memories of Curries. We were trying to think of the name recently.
Any exterior photos?

gloria bess said...

Oh...what memories have been posted! In 1939 we lived in Lomita,CA. Just a short distance from us was a Curries. My favorite
flavor was licorice! Now, I do have a favor to ask! Many years ago at the Ross Bowl Antique flea
market I purchses what I believe to
be a Curries Ice Cream scoop!! Does
any one have picture of one???
Gloria Bess- besswishes@cableone.net

Anonymous said...

My sister and I worked at Currie's Home of the Mile High Ice Cream cone... it was in Burbank... must have been around '62. It was on Pass Avenue just north or Riverside Drive.
We had lots of fun there... by that time, it was serving sandwiches and other lunch dishes... but the ice cream was the winner... we got to eat all we wanted... we did.. then didn't eat much after a few weeks... the lady that owned it was a Mrs. Garber or Gurber.. she was a wonderful older woman...

Anonymous said...

If you're in or around San Gabriel, there's some demolition going on at O'Donnell Chevrolet, on the SEC of San Gabriel & Las Tunas. At the moment, you can see revealed on the south side of the structure some faded signage for "Currie's Ice Cream"....

MKM

Anonymous said...

If anyone's interested, faded signage for the Currie's Ice Cream at San Gabriel and Las Tunas was recently uncovered by demolition on the south side of O'Donnell's Chevrolet. :)

Anonymous said...

If anyone's interested, faded signage for the Currie's Ice Cream at San Gabriel and Las Tunas was recently uncovered by demolition on the south side of O'Donnell's Chevrolet. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow!

I remember going to the Curries that you could see on the north side of the Golden State freeway. It had the giant cone sign and the absolute best Peach Ice cream I ever had! When I've mentioned it to friends no one ever heard of it. The only old fashioned ice cream parlor I know of in Los Angeles now days is Fosselman's. Their ice cream is quite good (the french vanilla is amazing) but they don't sell to stores so its a once or twice a year treat,
I also remember the Helen Grace Ice Cream parlor on Firestone in south gate, The building is still there but no Ice Cream parlor for years.

Anonymous said...

My memory of Currie's Ice Cream Parlor is a bit tainted. My step-father decided to take me and my two step sisters to Currie's on Fletcher & Riverside. My mother and maternal grandmother came along. When my step father attempted to order for us, the woman behind the counter said, "I'm sorry but we don't serve Mexicans."

I remember how humiliated my step father was. My grandmother stepped forward and, because she was not Mexican, was allowed to order for the children.

Certainly it was a different time and such a thing would never be allowed now. The silver lining was that it shaped me in such a way that when I was a little older and the civil rights movement was afoot, that limited personal experience with discrimination gave me what it took to be a strong advocate (and hippie protestor) for civil rights everywhere.