First City S&L


Police investigate a 1965 holdup at First City Savings & Loan, one of a
 half-dozen robberies at the 4th Avenue S&L in a nine-year period
between 1963 and 1972. The firm ingeniously utilized the
 former Roxy Theater’s distinctive marquee as its sign.


HUNTINGTON — Late in the afternoon of Jan. 30, 1963, a shabbily-dressed unmasked
 bandit robbed the First City Savings & Loan Co, holding manager James F. Crutcher
at gunpoint and escaping with between $4,000 and $5,000 in cash.

The 1963 stickup at First City would prove to be the first in a series of a
 half dozen holdups over a nine-year period at the S&L, then located at
1037 4th Ave. Subsequent robberies happened in 1965, 1966, 1969
 (two within three days of each other) and 1972. Crutcher told
 police he believed some of the robberies
were the work of the same culprit.

First City originally opened in the 1940s at the Huntington Arcade, with T. Edward Young
 as president, Dr. Floyd S. Taylor as vice president, attorney Edward H. Greene as
secretary and Crutcher as treasurer-manager. Later it moved to 1023 4th Ave.
 and still later to the building at 1037 4th Ave., that
previously had housed two movie theaters.

The Strand Theater opened in the building in 1926. By 1933, it had closed. That year
 saw the theater purchased by C. Bertram Hukle, who remodeled it and gave it a
new name, the Roxy. It initially showed first-run features but by the 1950s
it was known for its second-run double features. A 1952 fire badly
 damaged the movie house, which failed to reopen after the blaze.

The Roxy’s distinctive marquee was undamaged by the fire and so when
 First City moved into the former theater it ingeniously used the
marquee as a sign. The 1973 edition of the Huntington
City Directory indicates that First City had by then
 relocated to a suite of offices around the corner
in the Coal Exchange Building at 401 11th St.
That proved to be the firm’s last listing
in the Huntington Directory.

In 1976, the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority demolished the
former theater and several adjacent buildings to make way for
 a municipal parking lot, which remains at the site today.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Nov. 10, 2015.


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