Sunday, August 26, 2012

Vintage Store Photos featuring "Kiddierama Cartoon Theater" machines

  I was looking around for info on the old "Kiddierama Cartoon Theater" Coin-op machines and came across a guy restoring one at

To anyone unfamiliar with these, they were movie booths that for a quarter, you could watch one of 3 loaded 7 min cartoon shorts. I have vivid memories of one of these in the catalog pick-up area of the lower level of Sears at Crossroads Mall in Omaha, NE. My mom must have catalog ordered alot of stuff because I remember those trips to the basement of Sears, a Woody Woodpecker, Mighty Mouse or Deputy Dawg cartoon and then a trip to the Sears Candy and Nut counter for chocolate covered orange sticks every time we went to the Mall.

Back to Billy. This guy, Billy's got some great photos of his machine, a link to a youtube video of it in action and coolest of all, a PDF download of the original Buyer's Manual. As a vintage store nut, this was a jackpot, since there are a couple of dozen photos of the machines in stores with the stores and towns listed. Plus a great color photo and some advertising. Check out his site for the PDF. To save some hunting and to get the images out online, I've take screencaps of the vintage store photos and have typed up a list so other vintage discount store fans can find them easily.

If you have any memories of these "Kiddierama Cartoon Theaters" please share in the comments. Better you if you have old or new photos of any, feel free to email me at

aka Dr. G


Stores featured:
"Treasury Discount" Niles, Illinois
"Belscot Discount" Waukegan, Illinois
"Montgomery Wards" Evergreen Park, Illinois
"Montgomery Wards" Deerfield, Illinois
"Montgomery Wards" Mt. Prospect, Illinois
"JC Penny's" Bloomington, Illinois
"Bresler Ice Cream" Northgate Mall, Lafayette, Louisiana
"Woolco" Lafayette, Louisiana
"Dairy Queen" Roosevelt Blvd., Jacksonville Florida
"Montgomery Wards" Northgate Mall, Lafayette, Louisiana
"Dairy Queen" Normandy Blvd., Jacksonville Florida
"Randhurst Mall" Mt. Prospect, Illinois
"Belvidere Mall" Waukegan, Illinois
"Lakehurst Mall" Waukegan, Illinois
"Deerbrook Mall" Deerfield, Illinois


Anonymous said...

Thank you! I visited both DQ booths in Jacksonville FL back in the 1970s! Loved Kiddierama. This page is amazing!

Chuck X Goren said...

Nice. As a kid, I remember my parents let me spend a big quarter to watch a Deputy Dawg cartoon while waiting at Sears Auto. Probably 1979 or 1980.

Always wondered what these min-theaters were called.

D&T Whitney said...

Wow! I remember being left to watch cartoons in the Mall in Fridley, MN while mom shopped. I fell in love with the Casper and Wendy cartoons. Ahh memories of childhood.

I have wondered if it was made up in my head, because my husband has never understood what I'm talking about.