July 24th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1976, “Grandma’s Candy Store” was shown twice in the afternoon at the Bay Theatre.  According to the Today’s Calendar section in the Los Angeles Times, the film was a documentary about the Seal Beach old town candy store.

I’ve never heard of this film and haven’t found any other information about it. (There’s a slight possibility that it was a segment from a non-fiction children’s show) Does anyone remember this? I’d love to hunt this down.

ADDENDUM: On January 30, 2018, I received an e-mail from Bill Owens, the filmmaker who created “Grandma’s Candy Store.” Here’s what he wrote about his film:

So wonderful to read about my documentary, short, 7-1/2 minute, 16mm film, “Grandma’s Candy Store,” and your efforts to learn more about it.  I should know.  I’m the guy behind the camera who made the movie 40+ years ago.  The movie was a project of a class in 16mm Motion Picture Production at California Institute of the Arts, in 1974.  I lived in an upstairs apartment in the alley directly behind Grandma’s Candy Store.  I was just going through a stack of DVDs, here in Maryland, in late January, 2018, and I found a DVD of my movie and just watched it for the first time in 10-15 years.  It’s a sweet little movie. 

The highlight of that summer of 1974 was making that little 7-1/2 minute movie, and watching the movie play at the Bay Theater a few blocks away.  …. The highlight of the movie’s history is I entered Grandma’s Candy Store in the Yale Film Festival of, I think, 1974 or 1975 in New Haven, Connecticut.  I won for Best First Documentary Film.  I especially remember attending the screening at the film festival.  The row in front of me was blocked off with holiday bunting.  My friends and I cracked up with laughter when Frank Zappa occupied the seats directly in front of mine just as the auditorium at Yale Law School lights went down.  Watching my film with Frank Zappa was the icing on the cake (no pun intended).

At some point, I hope to entice a copy from Bill to share, but it’s great just to get the details.

– Michael Dobkins

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2 Responses to July 24th in Seal Beach History

  1. Karla Ober says:

    Good sleuthing! I’d like to see that, too!


  2. Michael Dobkins says:

    I’m trying to hunt down the possibility that it was a segment for a KNBC children’s show called, “That’s Cat.” They broadcasted a segment called, “A Trip to Grandma’s Candy Store” on September 8, 1977. Was it our Grandma’s Candy Store? No way of knowing now, but hunting it down is on my long (very long) list of Seal Beach to-dos.
    Take Care,


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