D’Ladium’s Basement Door

D'Ladiums 10-28-2009

When I photographed D’Ladiums / Pladiums for a 2010 story, two dozen or so readers shared their memories of the place. Is that ornate, black, boarded-up doorway on the right the entrance to the fabled basement? (If you were a fan of the place, make sure you follow that link.)

John Martin, Class of 1958, mentioned “I also heard there was a table stakes poker game in the basement on ocassion, but ‘I know nothing!‘”

Chris Stevens chimed in, “In the late 60′s Jerry let us use that underground (basement) space for a “Find of the Holidays” party one Christmas vacation. We served more than 3.2 and no one checked IDs that night.”

Tony Hamanwill never forget the 1 and only time Big Dog took me downstairs to the ‘TABLE’ schooled me but taught me 3 quick games, what a privilege to have in my memories.”

I was an innocent

Bartender Emily Banach and D'ladiums manager Jerry Beaver 11-04-2010My folks didn’t put many restrictions on me. I mean, how could they? I spent my toddlerhood tooling my toy tractor around in my grandfather’s liquor store in Advance, and Mother delights in telling about how she outsmarted the sheriff who was coming to confiscate their slot machines when she was barely a teen.

Still, they cautioned me to stay out of pool halls and other dens of iniquity, so I’m not sure I ever went into the smoky palace of pleasure at 1127 Broadway. It must have been relatively civilized because I never had occasion to show up there for a shooting or stabbing.

I was told that Captain Beaver is one of the reasons for good behavior. He rules the joint with a firm, but gentle, touch from a barber chair like the one I have in my living room. (It must be more than the chair that produces the result, though.)

Broadway End-to-End

I was trading some messages with Nicolette Brennan from the City of Cape about a picture of Broadway for a project she’s working on. That got me to thinking about how many Broadway stories I’ve done. I’ve documented the street from the river’s edge to the old Colonial Tavern on the west end. Click on the photos to make them larger and click on the links to go to the original story.

So many teens were dancing at the old Teen Age Club at Themis and Spanish that the floor was bouncing and a city inspector shut ’em down. They moved the dance to the bank parking lot at the corner of Main and Broadway.

Crash at the Colonial Tavern

The Colonial Tavern was my dad’s morning coffee stop where everybody would gather to hash over the previous night’s Cardinal game. A sports car picked this night to plow into the building that was at the west end of Broadway.

The park that got away

A three-acre tract of land on the south side of Broadway east of Hwy 61 was donated by the Doggett family with the understanding that the the land would be developed into a park similar to Dennis Scivally Park on Cape Rock Drive.

The family felt that the tract hadn’t been improved in the past 10 years, so they filed a suit to reclaim the land. A granite marker with the name “Doggett Park” next to the Masonic Temple parking lot is all that remains of the park.

Crash at Broadway and Fountain

Sometimes what you think is going to be an inconsequential story resonates with readers. Fred Kaefpfer, who was directing traffic at this crash at the corner of Broadway and Fountain, turned out to be Cape’s singing policeman. It became one of the most-commented stories of the early blog. The Idan-Ha Hotel shows up in the background of the photo.

Idan-Ha Hotel burns

The Idan-Ha Hotel, which had caught fire in 1968, caught fire again in 1989.

Star Service Station – Cigarettes 25 cents a pack

The Star Service station at the corner of Broadway and Frederick gave stamps with your gas. Ninety stamps would get you $1.50 worth of free gas.

Annie Laurie’s used to be Brinkopf-Howell’s

Niece Laurie Everett’s Annie Laurie’s Antiques, across the street from the Star Service Station used to be a funeral home. It’s the top-rated antique shop in Cape County now. Shivelbines Music, across the street, got a new sign in November.

Bob’s Shoe Service

Bob Fuller’s Bob’s Shoe Service was where I stocked up on Red Wing boots, the ideal footwear for a photographer. They’d shine up acceptably for formal wear (at least as formal as I ever got), but you could wade water and walk on fire with no worries.

507-515 Broadway

The 500 block of Broadway has had an interesting past.

Discovery Playhouse – Walthers’s Furniture

I was glad to see some life around the old Walther’s Furniture Store and Funeral Home. The Discovery Playhouse has become popular in a short period of time. Here is was before it opened.

Lutheran Mural Building razed

When I shot the Discovery Playhouse, I had no idea that the landmark building across the street was going to be torn down within a couple of years. It was best known for the huge blue mural on its side.

Rialto Theater roof collapses

A rainstorm caused the roof of the old Rialto Theater to collapse in 2010. This story contains a bunch of links, including one that tells how I met Wife Lila there when she was working as a cashier. This picture is of the 1964 Homecoming Parade.

Broadway Theater is still impressive

I managed to talk my way into the Broadway Theater on a cold December day. It still has the feel of the premier theater of the city.

What’s going to happen to the Esquire?

When I did this story in October 2011, it looked like the Esquire Theater was going to get new life. A new owner had an ambitious plan to renovate it. The latest stories in The Missourian make it sound like the project is unraveling.

Here’s a piece I did about its art deco history. In September 1965, I used infrared flash and film to capture kids watching The Beatles movie Help! It was the first (and only) time I used that technique.

Pladium / D’Ladiums – it’s still the same

I wasn’t a pool player, but those who were spent their time in the Pladium (now D’Ladiums) across from Houck Stadium or the Pla-Mor, next to Wayne’s Grill and the Esquire. The Beav still rules the roost at D’Ladiums.

Vandeven’s Merchantile

Howard’s Athletic Goods and a handful of other businesses have moved into the building at the corner of Broadway and Pacific over the years, but it’ll always be Vandeven’s Merchantile to me.

It dawns on me that I have even more photographs along Broadway – way too many to inflict on you in one shot. I’ll hold off putting up the rest of them until another day. Don’t forget to click on the links to see the original stories.


Jerry Beaver: Pladium and D’Ladiums

The building at 1127 Broadway has housed drug stores, grills, soda fountains and some other businesses that have fallen through the cracks of history. For most of our generation, though, it’s been the Pladium and, more recently, D’Ladiums.

The one constant has been Jerry Beaver, who manages the place from his throne – a 1940s or 1950s barber chair- bought to celebrate Jerry’s reaching Social Security age.

Bar and poolroom started as drug store

The building was originally built by the Dormeyer family in 1929 for use as a drug store. It opened in 1930. The dark door at the right of the building used to lead to the basement, which was called The Cellar and used as a soda fountain. In later years, it became The Dungeon and The Marine Room, Jerry said.

Jerry “Big Dog” Priest opened Pladium

Jerry ” Big Dog” Priest, a noted pool player, opened the Pladium in the late 50s. Jerry (the Beaver one) worked there for about 30 years, then he went to work for the new owners. He still wears his trademark shorts, no matter what the weather is like. Serious pool is still a big draw.

House of escapades

A couple of my Central classmates (who should probably remain anonymous unless they choose to identify themselves) were chatting on Facebook about escapades at the Pladium.

  • I low crawled 25 yards out of the Pladium one night.
  • I can beat that….I was carried out of the Pladium one night.
  • I did get put in the penalty box for 2 weeks by Bigdog for riding a Honda 305 scrambler motorcycle into the Pladium one Saturday morning.

Decades of smoke stain ceiling

The bar is definitely a smoking area. One of the customers pointed out the difference between ceiling tiles that have been there for years vs. the ones that have been replaced fairly recently.

Memorabilia covers walls

The walls are covered with trophies, license plates and photos of customers.

Jerry rules with firm, gentle hand

Bartender Emily Banach and customer Chris Eastridge agreed that Jerry, who knows almost everyone by name (and what they drink), keeps things under control with a firm, but gentle touch. Most customers, they said, are pretty well-behaved.

Gallery of D’Ladiums’ Photos

Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.

Bartender Emily Banach and customer Chris Eastridge agreed that Jerry, a Vietnam vet, takes care of any problems that come up quickly and quietly. Generally, though, most of the customers are well-behaved.