Just to let you know my brother, Mike, and I are meeting with Ted
Nikas in November at Foto Kem in Burbank to finish the transfer of
"Dirty Feet," the Tim Morgon film, from 16mm to VHS and DVD and
that soon after that date the film will be available for sale; I
will provide more information then. It will likely be sold at
CDBaby, where Tim's CDs are being sold, but he hasn't anything to
do with the sale of "Dirty Feet." He is however very happy that
the film will soon be available and supportive of our efforts to
save the film and glad that Ted Nikas has been so cooperative in
restoring the film. This has, as you know, been a long-time effort
of ours to encourage Mr. Nikas to put his 90 minute B&W movie,
filmed almost entirely on location in Balboa, in 1964-65, at the
Prison of Socrates and other Balboa locations. We owe everything
to Ted Nikas who put up all of the money and spent a considerable
amount of time ensuring that this film would not be lost. He's
really an amazing person. It will be great for all who loved The
Prison of Socrates to get a chance again to re-experience that
great old coffee house and feel what it felt like to attend a Tim
Morgon live show at The Prison. It isn't a film that qualifies
exactly what it felt like to hear and see Tim Morgon, as it is a
mixture of fiction as well as fact, but it is something. Tim is
seen not only performing at the coffee house in Balboa, but
surfing, camping (at Angel's Camp in the Sierras), having fun at
the Balboa Fun Zone, hanging around Balboa, in general, and just
talking with old friends, like "Mike" who used to own the gas
station on Newport Blvd (forget his name) and a hodgepodge of
other friendly and now (strangely) familiar folks. When I e-mailed
Steve Martin at his site on-line, he said one word to qualify this
news: "Wow!" and former waittress and graphic artist, who did the
graphics for the movie, Elonne Dantzer, is ecstatic that the film
will finally be available, as is it's "co-star," Vicki Arthur.
Spence Hathaway is equally happy to hear the film is going to be
released. I will send you a copy of it on DVD soon. I will also
secure two other copies, as promised, to the Special Collections
at the Newport Public Library; and maybe you can interest someone
locally in showing it on a local cable station? Please let me know
if you have any ideas in how we can bring to the residents in
Newport-Balboa that this long lost film will soon be released. I
suspect it will be ready for sale in early December.
Great site, I love it. It is always fun to explore the
site, since I am fairly new to Newport. I wish, however, I
lived on the peninsula. Next year hopefully I can find a
rental house there with my girlfriend.
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone in Balboa knew how to
play the French game of Petanque. It is a great outdoors
game, and I think there should be a local Balboa Petanque
Did the street painting happen again this year and I
Thanks for sending on this message from Sheila. I will
certainly get in touch with her. I also hear that my
lifelong friend Paula Castle Hocken dropped by to see you.
See how influential your website is? Carry on!!!
Tita Vincent Yost
Holy tomoly! How many years has your web cam been on me?
Hope everyone has enjoyed my spills and thrills!
P.S. We moved the jacuzzi...
For More London's Times
On The Fun Zone Boardwalk
Paul Kim performs the never-ending
task of replacing the burnt out lights
on the Balboa Pavilion
THE PRISON OF SOCRATES
Sometime in the mid 50s, a coffee house
opened in Balboa. As was the custom at the time, coffee
houses had a sub-culture and usually an off-beat name. It
was called the Prison of Socrates, and was located where
B.J.'s pizza is presently. Most parents were not too
excited about the presence of a coffee house, but it soon
became a place for singers, musicians, comedians and poets
and also a hang out for teens on vacation in Balboa.
Serving coffee, soft drinks, juices and espresso, there
were no alcoholic beverages served. but the fact remained
that most parents did not allow their children to go near
that "den of iniquity." At that time, there were plenty of
bars and saloons in Balboa, one right next door to the
"Prison" called the Beach Roamer, which was known for its
large fire pit in the center of the room. Beyond that was
a second-hand book store where the Studio Cafe is
presently. Across the street from the "Prison" was, and
still is the Balboa Inn, along with the Chinese Stage
restaurant and Karam's Restaurant where Dillman's is now.
For the younger generation, there was folk music at the
"Prison" and rock and roll at the Rendezvous Ballroom. The
Prison of Socrates was very obvious. The Greek writings
and scenes on the brick wall along the alley and in the
front were very distinctive. The scene of Socrates' death
was a mural painted on the inside of the club. this scene
was used in some of the albums recorded live at the
'Prison." The most popular group at the Prison of Socrates
in the late 50's was the "Steeltown Two". Made up of C.
Carson parks and Bernie Armstrong Jr. Parks wrote
"Something Stupid" that was a big hit for Frank and Nancy
Sinatra. By the early 60's Tim Morgon was the headliner
and he recorded live at the "Prison" and also filmed a
movie about the culture at the time. Other popular names
to appear at the "Prison" were Steve Martin, Pat Paulsen,
Jose Feliciano, Randy Boone, Denny Brooks, The Mad
Mountain Ramblers, Hoyt Axton, Joe and Eddie and Steve
Gillette to name a few. By the late 60's folk music had
given way to rock and roll and the Beatles and the Stones
had sealed the coffin. The Prison of Socrates closed and
sat empty for years until taken over by B.J.'s Pizza. The
painting on the walls stood as a mute reminder of a
chapter in the life of Balboa.
"The people who cast the votes don't decide
an election, the people who count the votes do."