How well I remember Saturday outings to the California Theater on Mendocino Avenue. Once inside the doors, my first stop in the small lobby was the well-stocked snack bar. My order was almost always the same: a box of Good and Plenty, please. This winning combination of chewy mouth-watering licorice enclosed in a crunchy sugar coating was my idea of sweet perfection.
The Cal, as the theater was affectionately known, has been gone for years, torn down in the name of progress to make way for Macy's. Decidedly different from today's monstrous cinemas, there was only one theater and one main feature. We'd patiently sit through the cartoon, newsreel, and often a serial (Hello, Zorro!) before eagerly viewing the movie we shelled out our coins to see. I vaguely remember double features, such a bargain. Kids really could spend all day at the movies.
One Good and Plenty box would be consumed before the cartoon was finished, so I would often find myself returning to the snack bar for more treats. Charms lollipops, buttered popcorn, and cinnamon flavored Hot Tamales were all high on my list; but my junk food highlight was always found in that festive little box of pink and white licorice gold.