Coming Soon To The Elmwood – 1960’s

Today’s picture is a scan of an advertising postcard for the Elmwood showing some upcoming events.

Some of the biggest stars of the era were coming… Before the Casino returned big name entertainment to the city, this Elmwood used to be the place to go for big name entertainment. For more info on the Elmwood, use the search on the right –>

Windsor must have been quite a happening place back in the 1960’s.

17 Comments on Coming Soon To The Elmwood – 1960’s

  1. I worked as a delivery boy at Holme’s Drug Store at Tecumseh and Pelissier on Sunday afternoons and evenings in the late fifties and early sixties. Went often to Elmwood since we were close. Once delivered Chanel #5 to May Britt when Sammy Davis brought her there while he was appearing at the Casino. Don’t think they were married yet. Huge scandal – interracial relations! Before paying me, she opened the package and sprayed it in her room, like it was room deoderant! Also remember Sammy at Woodall’s golf range and how nice he was to everyone. Also delivered once to Sophie Tucker, last of the “red hot” Momma’s. Knew her from the Ed Sullivan Show. Jimmy Durante ordered El Producto cigars. Funny thing was that the room numbers were on the packages, not the names, and these famous people would answer their doors like they were your neighbours. I never once asked for an autograph! Of course our Pharmacist, Mr. MacDonald would ask me all the details when I got back to the store, like as if I was a gossip columnist. I remember that big sign lit up with famous names just as you rode over the tracks on Dougall St. and thinking Windsor and the Elmwood were such famous places. Love this website. It brings back so many great memories for us old Windsorites.

  2. It’s funny! The Elmwood was, indeed, a big deal for Windsor but it was apparently the back of beyond for the big names who played there. I remember references in a book about Judy Garland to the venue, the town and the accomodations, none of them flattering. Windsor has always seemed to me to be a town with aspirations above its status. It’s my “hometown” so I feel justified in making that judgment.

  3. My dad worked at the Elmwood in the early 1950’s …perhaps even as early as the late 1940’s. He had many autographed head shots of the various performers…Lenny Bruce, Durante, etc. Sadly these seemed to have disappear over the years. He recalls Durante being a very down to earth guy.

  4. You’re right Clare.
    Windsor has too much ambition for a middle sized Canadian city.
    It fights with the much larger Detroit for acts. Of course sometimes things can spill over onto this side of the river, but really, we should be more than happy with mediocre acts, and concerts. Drive 10 more minutes for the big stuff.

  5. Saw Pat O’Brien at mass on Sunday morning at St Clare Church after a show at the Elmwood…..Image met reality.

  6. You know, for the life of me I can’t think of a room in Detroit that booked the type of “Nightclub” acts the Elmwood did.

  7. Remember, the reason we had “Night Clubs” with big name entertainment was the fact Windsor was the ” Slumming Town ” where Americans could go out with whomever and not be found for the night or nights. Vices for your various pleasures, drinking, gambling,Cuban cigars, we had it all. The US dollar was traded equal at the time and their greenback was the money of choice at the time. We went from Roadhouse mayhem in the ’20’s thru to the 30’s to sliding to the 50’s and 60’s, inbedded funtown habits that Americans loved and hated to give up.We were the get away town. With the Hippie and civil rights movements and the Vietnam war , Americans were changing their habits and the new youth movement rejected the past generations lifestyle. The white population exit to the Detroit suburbs further removed the clientele from the border region and hence the decline of our “Nightclubs”. Then, we could not afford the big name entertainment and the decline came to a halt by the late 70’s. Rock, Disco and Arena shows took over in Detroit for the new youth and then Windsors’ second wave of Americans occured with the advent of Strip palaces, then Kiddie Bars, then the Gambling Casinos. The Windsor Raceway was a holdover vice many Americans still enjoyed. Maybe now we have become our own mature town and can finally say we have grown to showcase big name acts again, in grander showrooms and large arenas. That’s it, we made It , full circle !

  8. The Roostertail (still open for private events) had all the big nightclub stars during the 60’s.

  9. I remember my parents telling me about going to see Tom Jones at the Elmwood. I also heard about how Sammy Davis, while he had some time around his gig, tried to play a few holes at Roseland but was refused because he was black. There’s a book in there somewhere about the life and times of the Elmwood.

  10. I remember Bob Newhart bad mouthing the Elmwood on the Tonight Show. My mom had some autographed pictures as well, Larry Storch, Jimmy Durante and Sammy Davis I think.

  11. Bob Newhart in his 2006 biography describes a painful time at the Elmwood. He was an unknown comedian. His hit album wouldn’t come out until later. He bombed big time and his fifth night was worst. The audience ignored him, went on eating their steaks and drinking their highballs. No applause. Desperate he tried every joke he knew and ran through all his material to the silence. Then with no ammo left, he just walked off stage. A very stern manager intercepted him and ordered him back out for another six minutes. That’s when Newhart realized the only reason he was booked was to fill in time while the chorus girls changed costumes. He says he seriously thought about going back to being an accountant.

  12. I remember meeting Jimmy Durante in the old Steinbergs whilst he was starring at the Elmwood. He was in his eighties but still very funny and he was extremely nice to me and he let my aunt take a picture of him and I. Nice memories of a real star. As to Bob Newhart, I have always found him to be as funny as a blocked drain but that’s maybe just me :)

  13. My Mother in Law rescued two big mermaids from the Elmwood Casino when it was being converted into what is now Brentwood. Husband said From what he was told his mother found them barely hanging onto the wall around a bar somewhere in the old Elmwood. that’s all we know. If anyone has any information on these or how old they are we really would like to know. Thank you, any information would be great.

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