State Theatre

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston
 
Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

The State Theatre,

South Bend, IN.

South Bend has had a number of theatres throughout the years.  One of them being the State Theatre on S. Michigan Street, downtown.  Built in 1919, it was originally the Blackstone Theatre. While as a young boy, they had four theatres on Michigan Street and one on Colfax Street.  Those theatres no longer show movies.  The Palace Theatre, another painting that I have done, is now the Morris Performing Arts Center, which now is part of the Broadway Performances brought to the area. Other Theatres I have painted are: The Palace in South Bend, IN; The Reese in Plymouth, INFox in Detroit, Atlanta’s Fox, Fox #2 in Atlanta; The Chicago Theatre; The Los Angeles Theatre; Loew’s Theatre in Jersey City, NJ, Warner Theatre, Elkhart and the Lerner Sign in Elkhart, Indiana.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped  
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65
]
Original painting on stretched canvas not available.
 
 
 

 

Morris Performing Arts Center

copyright Larry Johnston

Copyright Larry Johnston

The Morris Performing Arts Center,

South Bend, IN


Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

The Morris Performing Arts Center was originally the Palace Theatre, which I also have painted.

As an artist, I am always looking at things differently than most. I have painted several nostalgic businesses around the country.  This is The Morris Performing Arts Center, located in downtown South Bend, Indiana. The acrylic painting is 24″ x 36″ on stretched canvas. The Painting was commissioned as a Christmas present in September of 2016.  The man who ordered the painting, requested special things on the marquee, as well as the green fountain, which went along with the Broadway play “Wicked’. The performance was in early September, 2016. The lady walking toward the theater was a likeness of his wife, who worked at the Morris. She was also given progression photos of the painting in progress on a DVD.  He said it was a big hit!

 I have been asked on occasion how I was able to create my paintings. This series shows the actual place and the final painting to show the comparison.  Most of the paintings were made from, as many as 12 photographs taken from different angles, as well as closeup shots.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped  
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65
 
24″ X 36″ Original painting on stretched canvas not available.
 
 

 

Luigi’s Pizza

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

Luigi’s Pizza,

South Bend, Indiana.

I remember when I was in High school many decades ago, riding my bicycle to Luigi’s Pizza, several miles away, in an area called River Park, for a pizza.  Luigi’s is still around, but have moved from the place on the corner.  My Aunt, Jean, used to talk about going to Luigi’s when she was in High School.  She is now over 90 years old. That’s an indication as to how long they have been making pizzas.

When I painted the painting, I included her driving her favorite car (Ford Retractable) and around the corner is Uncle Don, with his Studebaker (Silver Hawk).  When they came to one of my art shows, they saw it for the first time.  When they said they loved it, I told them that I painted it for them.

Uncle Don has since passed-away, but the painting still hangs in Aunt Jean’s Family Room where she can see it easily while watching TV or just relaxing.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped  
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65
Original painting on stretched canvas not available.
 
 

 

 

A & W Root Beer Barrel

Copyright Larry Johnston

Copyright Larry Johnston

 A&W Root Beer Barrel

South Bend – Elkhart, Indiana

There was a time when building designs were used to attract customers, as well as Signs and other types of advertising.  The Barrel became a popular design for Root Beer, as they buildings resembled the Barrel.

The Root Beer barrel I painted here was in the South Bend – Elkhart area.  There were barrels located at 3 locations in South Bend, on Lincolnway, across the river from the Farmers Market , State Road 23 & Ironwood and at Mayflower and Western area. Elkhart had a barrel located on North Main Street. There were a few others located in the Michiana area. I painted it to look like as if it could have been any one of those locations.  Of course, as usual, I surrounded the building with cars that could have been there during the 1950s.

I lived on North Ironwood, so it was just a short bicycle ride to the Barrel at Ironwood and State Road 23.  There is a supermarket at that location now and all of the other A & W Root Beer Barrels have since disappeared, replaced with more modern buildings and equipment.

Other A & W paintings that I have done:  A & W Rootbeer Drive-in, Taylor, MI

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped  
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65

24” x 36” ………. $1,295.00 Original Painting

Azar’s Big Boy

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

Azar’s Big Boy

South Bend, IN

Azar’s Big Boy was a typical 1950s Drive-in, complete with Car Hops.  It was right next to another Drive-in called Bonnie Doon. The back of the drive-ins was an alley, so it became a way to go in one and drive to the other and exit back to the street, around the block and do it all over again.  This was called the “Merry-go-round”.  Also popular in the 1960s, when I was in High School were motor scooters. The 2 pictured are the Cushman brand.  The one of the left is like the one my brother drove.  It even had a stick shift. Another popular scooter at the time was the Allstate. It had bubble type fenders with a storage compartment on one side, unlike the red Cushman with the storage compartment under the seat.

This painting was one of my first paintings when I started featuring classic cars.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped  
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
Azar’s Big Boy 
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65

24” x 36” ………. $1,295.00 Original Painting on stretched canvas

 

LaSalle Hotel Rooftop Signs

Copyright Larry Johnston
Copyright Larry Johnston

LaSalle Hotel – Rooftop Sign,

South Bend, IN.

When I was growing up in South Bend, I always remembered looking north on Michigan Street and seeing those signs atop the LaSalle Hotel, sitting at an angle so you could see them from blocks away in each direction. There were other businesses with similar signs, also perched atop their buildings visually crying out to potential customers. It just added to the nostalgia of the time.

Those signs are no longer there and with my intent to bring back some of the old nostalgic flavor of the city, I recreated the signs that overlooked the city.  The Bendix Corporation, also in South Bend had a tower with the name spelled out vertically in lights.  I included it in the picture, way off in the distance.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped  
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65

24” x 36” ……….$1,295.00 Original Painting on stretched canvas

 

Bonnie Doon Drive-in,US 31 N

Copyright Larry Johnston

Copyright Larry Johnston

Bonnie Doon,

US 31 North, South Bend, Indiana.

There were 5 local Bonnie Doon ice cream shops that were drive-ins, in the South Bend – Mishawaka, Indiana area. I had painted a couple of the stores when a couple approached me and wanted a painting of the drive-in on US 31 north, which was located between South Bend, Indiana and Niles, Michigan. It was just north of a community called Roseland.

There was a catch to this painting though.  The couple had been married at the church, across from this particular Bonnie Doon drive-in. The wife and her mother had both worked there, and while the couple had dated, they spend many evenings at Bonnie Doon.  Here’s the catch! I told them I would paint their car in the painting. We compromised and I painted all the cars they had owned since they had been married into the picture, in all the correct colors.

As you can see, here is the final result.  The prints of the painting became popular and I have painted the same place with other personal cars in the paintings, BUT NOT AS MANY!  I had a ball creating this painting. Here the other Bonnie Doon paintings I have painted: Bonnie Doon, S. Michigan St., South Bend; Bonnie Doon on Lincolnway West in Mishawaka: Bonnie Doon in the 1940s on 4th St in Mishawaka; Bonnie Doon on 4th St. Mishawaka in the 1950s.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped  
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
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16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65

24” x 36” ……….Original Painting on stretched canvas Not Available

 

Bonnie Doon Drive-in South Michigan St

Copyright Larry Johnstobn
Copyright Larry Johnston

Bonnie Doon Drive-in, S. Michigan St.,

South Bend, Indiana.

Bonnie Doon Ice Cream started in 1941 and in 1944, they opened their first drive-in.  One of their most popular locations was on S. Michigan Street, in South Bend, Indiana.  At the time, when I frequented that location, there were 5 locations in the area.

During my High School days, Michigan Street was a one-way street going north and the next street over, Main Street was one way going south. Bonnie Doon and Azar’s Big Boy sat next door to each other, so they became the hang out as the cars would drives through both establishments, go around the block and back through, over and over, eventually referred to as the merry-go-round.  The teenagers would sit on their cars in the parking lot and watch the cars go by. I remember the cars stopping along Main Street to meet. I am sure many romances started at Bonnie Doon.

I have decided to bring back some of these historic buildings that have since become vacant or torn down. This painting on S. Michigan Street, in South Bend, Indiana, brought back memories and stories from the people who saw it.  I asked my customers if they could find the Corvette Stingray in the painting. Most couldn’t find it, until I pointed out the reflection in the side of the car in the foreground. I have since painted Bonnie Doon – US 31, South Bend, Bonnie Doon 4th St, Mishawaka 1940, Bonnie Doon 4th St., Mishawaka 1950s, Bonnie Doon- Lincolnway, Mishawaka, Indiana.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped  
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65

24” x 36” Original Painting on stretched canvas……….Not Available

 

G & H Coffee Shop

Copyright Larry Johnston

G & H 24 Hour Coffee Shop, South Bend, IN
Copyright Larry Johnston

G & H 24-Hour Coffee Shop

“The Gag and Heave”,

South Bend, Indiana.

The White House Restaurants in South Bend were a local chain of 24-hour diners in the area. The most famous was the one across from John Adams High School.  The Diner had several nicknames, such as “Fat Shirley’s”, and the most memorable, “The Gag and Heave”.  The owner, Burke Hammond established the restaurant in 1955.  They even had bumper stickers that advertised the diner as the “Gag & Heave”.  The High School students loved it.  On the other side of town, the Studebaker workers also called their local White House Restaurant, “The Gag & Heave”.  Since I went to John Adams High School, I just had to paint the building with the 1962 Studebaker Lark Police car sitting outside, ready for action, just as it was frequently seen during those late-night hours.

The G & H, was eventually sold and is now “Jeanie’s” and has been remodeled and still sits at the corner of Mishawaka Avenue and Twyckenham Avenue, in South Bend across from the High School at 1444 Mishawaka Avenue, serving those late night burgers and lots of coffee.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped  
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65

24” x 36” ………. $1,295.00 Original Painting

Palace Theatre

Copyright Larry Johnston
Palace Theatre, South Bend, IN
Copyright Larry Johnston

The Palace Theatre,

South Bend, Indiana.

As a young boy, I remember all the bright lights of the Palace Theatre in South Bend.  All the best movies were there, including the Premier of the movie “Knute Rockne: All American”, starring Ronald Raegan as George Gipp (The Gipper), with Rudy Vallee, Bob Hope, Jane Wyman, Kate Smith and Pat O’Brian as Knute Rockne..  The theatre was built in 1922 and closed in the 1960’s.  Several years later, it was saved from demolition and remodeled into a theatrical venue with the help of Mrs. Ella. M. Morris, from South Bend. It was renamed “The Morris Civic Auditorium” and later “The Morris Performing Arts Center” now focusing on Broadway Productions and name brand talent.

South Bend had five theatres in the 1960’s when I was growing up.  I have also painted the State Theatre. The two of them and are popular when exhibiting in local shows. Since South Bend was the home of the Studebaker, I had to put one in the painting.

Other Theatre paintings are:  The Reese in Plymouth, INFox in Detroit, Atlanta’s Fox, Fox #2 in Atlanta; The Chicago Theatre; The Los Angeles Theatre; Loew’s Theatre in Jersey City, NJ, Warner Theatre, Elkhart and the Lerner Sign in Elkhart, Indiana.

Prints:
 
ALL PRINTS are printed on canvas and stretched on wooden stretcher bars and prices vary according to size ordered. Most are 2:3 proportion
 
Options:
 
wrapped print- part of the image is wrapped  
around the sides of the wood.
 
 
Non-wrapped print- The full image is on the face, with white or black edges
 
 
(frames and hardware are not included)
 
8″ x 12″ Black Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ White Edge………. $109.17
8″ x 12″ Wrapped Edge………. $109.17
 
 
12” x 18” Black Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” White Edge ………. $168.07
12” x 18” Wrapped Edge ………. $168.07
 
 
16” x 24” Black Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” White Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
16” x 24” Wrapped Edge ………. $226.14 (Most popular)
 
 
20” x 30” Black Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” White Edge………. $314.34
20” x 30” Wrapped Edge………. $314.34
 
 
24” x 36”Black Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”White Edge ………. $335.65
24” x 36”Wrapped Edge ………. $335.65

18” x 24” Original Painting on stretched canvas – Not Available