In Memory of J.B. Milano

Pie in the Face

My Dad was in the film business and one of the perks was going to the State Theatre on East Trade St or the Tryon Theatre on South Tryon St. on Saturday morning to watch a double bill Western. Stars like Roy Rogers, Gene Autrey, Hopalong Cassity, Bob Steele, Buster Crap, Tome Mix and some I have forgot kept us on the edge of our seats as they beat up the bad guys and got the girl at end of the picture. Once a month we would load up a car load of boys and head out for a western adventure. My brother and I, the Corry Brothers, Milano Brothers and several other boys in our neighborhood would be dropped off by my Dad and he and manager would go up to mangers office. One Saturday morning as we sat on the front row of the State Theatre watching the action a pie flew over our heads a smacked the screen. At first we didn't realize what had happened and a second pie hit the screen! “Splat” and it just missed us. John Milano jumped up and turned around just in time to catch the next one in the face. This time the house lights came on and several older boys bolted from behind us and headed for the exits beside the screen with the manager and my Dad in hot pursuit. The cops were called and took a report. That same day the Tryon Theatre and Charlotte Theatre were attacked by pie throwers. It didn't take long for the cops to visit a new bakery on North Tryon St. and start asking questions about customers buying pies. It was four boys buying cream pies several times on that Saturday that gave the cops their first break. The next Saturday the cops placed a plain closeman in the bakery and when the purchase was made a description was given and sent to the theatres. Sure enough the same four entered the Tryon Theatre and the cops were called and took their seats in the rear of the theatre and waited. It wasn't long before the pies were thrown and the suspects arrested. The pie throwing gang was put out of business.