The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 12, 1976 · Page 209
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 209

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 12, 1976
Page 209
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Page 209 article text (OCR)

Palm Beach Post-Times, Sunday, December 12, 1976 TV25 Oldtime Show Business Craftsman Recalls Television's Poorer Days (to Qaifli) SETff.ffl NORM STICKNEY AT THE i ORGAN I OPEN 5 P.M. DAILY I SUN 4 P M. 1 CALL TODAY FOR FREE ESTIMATE 42-7335 JAY LAR CONSTRUCTION 1344 S. KILUAN LAKE PARK We Build Custom We Build Custom Why Move & Raise Your Mortgage ... When You Can Add On to Year Present Heme ROOM ADDITIONS KITCHEN REMODELING BATHROOM REMODELING PORCH ADDITIONS & ENCLOSURES lime4 Contractor County 0. lie. Stole Cert. Ho. CI M32 Homes also j Commercial & Industrial Buildings! Commercial & Inc Love Lucy" and "Ozzie and Harriet." "They were still using radio scripts. Little by little it became more like the movies. Television had all the movies' early mistakes to learn from." Since the early 1960s, most of Montenaro's television decorating has been for made-for-TV movies. He operates as a free-lancer. Every so often he does a series, like "Adam 12,' a popular police show a few years ago. Occasionally he designs the sets himself, but usually he works from the designs of others, gathering props and materials for the finished set. Montenaro's home life reflects the curious meld of show business and craft. Mrs. Montenaro proudly explains that the furnishings at home are the result of her husband's decorating craft. The dining room table, where the couple's three married children and seven grandchildren still sometimes gather, was purchased after it was no longer needed in the television living room of Lucy's neighbor, Fred Mertz. Montenaro sometimes watches the shows he decorated on the family TV. "I miss them half the time but I kind of like to watch them to see what they left in or what they left out. It's smart to look at them because you learn." By MIKE GOODKIND LOS ANGELES (AP) - Anthony Montenaro, a set decorator newly arrived to television, thought the musical number being filmed needed a far better backdrop. So he asked his boss for $25 a week. The money rented a truckload of props for Montenaro to fashion into a bunkhouse set for Merle Travis, or a living room for Sarah Vaughn. It was 1950 and Montenaro, usually employed in movies, was working for Snader Telescription Corp. because few movies were being produced at the time. Snader, now defunct, made three-minute programs. Each episode featured a major singer or musician of the day performing a single number, usually in front of the same drab curtain flanked by a couple of potted plants. "Asking for the money was what you tnight call self preservation," recalls Montenaro, who started in show business as a prop man in 1934. "I wanted television to succeed. We had all the techniques from motion pictures. But there was no money." The big shows were just starting in 1950. One of the first ratings battles was raging that year between CBS's Ed Sullivan Show and NBC's Colgate Comedy Hour. Howdy Doody entertained the kids every afternoon, and comedian Milton Berle, "Mr. Television," had been on the tube for two years. "People would watch anything in those days, they even liked the commercials," recalls Montenaro, now 61. He still works as a set decorator, sometimes in television, sometimes in movies "where there is more time to do things right." But wherever he works, his budget is bigger than $25 per week lots bigger, like up to $40,000 for a single major TV production. Montenaro came to Hollywood from Rochester, N.Y., during the Depression when jobs were hard to A i - Anthony Montenaro . . . $25 for a backdrop find and to hold. But he managed to keep working, first in props and then as a stunt man. He got into movie set decorating in the late '30s, then into television in its earliest days. He's been at the craft for more years than just about anyone in the business. "I've dressed western saloons, garages, . warehouses, bathrooms, found covered wagons ..." In 1951 and 1952, Montenaro moved into the burgeoning world of weekly series and dressed the sets for "I TUXEDO RENTALS fi SALES OVER 1500 SUITS IN STOCK FRESHLY CLEANED COST rain DAY SERVICE MODERN STYLE EXPERT FITTING COMPLETE LINE OF ACCESSORIES COMPLETE WEST PALM? FROM 'IS" BEACH MODEST ONE SIZES 3 to 56 mm (ustmvDesynUuj,Sinct (950 BILL SUTHER, owner 531 CLEMATIS ST WPB ROOM ADDITIONS RENOVATIONS PORCHES SCREENS , s SERVING THE PALM BEACHES SINCE 1949 Ibbb, SE HABLA ESPANOL mZa 848-2616 ibieacihiieiki Building Remodeling npAJUMi EXTRA TWIN SIZE Both For Only Q L X X Choose From I Made TUXEDOS WEAR 832-4790 LAKE WORTH 202 N. Federal Hwy. (4 Blks. East of Dixie) Drapery ADD 75' PANEL FOR FINDINGS - MINIMUM LENGTH 85 INCHES mf BEDSPREADS ARE cTA f RIVIERA BEACH 4906 DYER ROAD (1 Blk. West of Trail) OQDEQBS , FULL i QUEEN KING $119.95 $149 $199. TRY THE ONE YOU GET FROM OUR FANTASTIC DISPLAY OF BEDS. 5 CUSTOM NYLON BACKED hm& VALUES UP TO s10000 From Fine Decorator Fabrics TAILORED IN OUR OWN WORK ROOM Thousands & Thousands of Yards of Fine $95 Fabrics to Choose From at One Special Price i win IU FOR FREE SOME HAVE MATCHING FABRICS ALL MACHINE QUILTED AND HAND MADE NO SECONDS HOME DECORATOR' SERVICE AND FREE ESTIMATE CALL 586-3710 17 : XiT-htVLVi

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