Bill Valentine
The shirt off Bill Valentine's back

Sign made in 1967 for the movie Charly

  Here's the history of the sign, as I know it:

The sign was made in 1967 for the movie Charly, parts of which were filmed at PI in October '67. The film was released in 1968 and didn't make it to local theaters until early 1969.

The sign was made for a scene that was cut from the movie, in which Cliff Robertson (Charly) and Claire Bloom (his teacher/lover) drive up to the main gate of PI, which is closed for the season. They approach the gate and bribe the security guard (played by Walter Sherman) to open the gate and let them into the park. (It would be wonderful if we could rescue that scene from a cutting room floor somewhere.)

The sign was new for the movie but was made to look old by scraping the paint thin in places. I'm not sure if the sign was used between seasons in 1968/69, but in 1969, when the park closed for good, I recall it was placed on top of one of the ticket booths at the front gate. (I think you have a picture of it there.) Sometime soonafter that (circa 1970) it accidentally fell into the back seat of my car and it began it's 31-year journey around New England.

(This part is boring:)

The sign was stored in my parents' garage at their house on Woodbriar Rd. in Wakefield until they moved to Tamworth, NH in 1973. It was kept upstairs in their barn for a few years, then it was displayed in their antique shop (White Elephant Antiques), which was on the first floor of the barn. In 1981 my mother died. When my father remarried in 1983, he moved to his wife's house and was about to bring the sign to the dump. I rescued it and brought it to the basement of my house on West Duston Rd. in Salem, NH. Sometime between 1969 and 1983 the sign broke in half. In 1999, we built a bedroom in our basement for one of our sons and he used the lower half of the sign to hold a large speaker for his sound system. Holding the speaker proved to be tough duty for the half-sign and it was crushed and broken again. I finally rescued the sign and took these pictures on May 19, 2001.

Thirty-one years is enough! Let me know when you want it!


1967 Paystubs... Bill worked at Kartland. Click for larger version.


"This picture from Charly was taken in the park behind Western City. The little wooden boats were made in Walter's maintenance garage, probably by Walter."

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