Close, But No Cigar

Public pay phones
Yes, they're still around, but not nearly as plentiful.
Public pay phones

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There are 23 comments for this item.

Posted by kluv42 at 11:38 pm (PST) on Wed January 20, 2021   
Next Superman movie (Do we really need any more??), Kent ought to pull out his own phone and go to the app store and look for a "change clothes" app.
Posted by GlenEllyn at 5:07 pm (PDT) on Sat September 2, 2017   
Kluv42 - I wish more places had cell phone booths, especially places like libraries where protocol is to be quiet.
Posted by kluv42 at 10:22 pm (PDT) on Wed August 16, 2017   
I go on Tuesdays to play trivia at a place called Cameron's, a bar/restaurant in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Very interesting British-pub-themed place... A double decker bus out front where <gasp> smoking is allowed, and lots of other interesting things. One of those is a old-fashioned British fully-enclosed tall red phone booth. A sign on the glass entrance says "Cellular Phone Booth". Every once in awhile, I actually see someone go inside and yank out the smartphone to talk with someone!
Posted by Chuck Kopsho at 12:13 am (PDT) on Sun October 9, 2016   
I live in Oceanside, California, and at all of the places I used to frequent, there are no pay phones anywhere to be seen. As I said in a previous post, pay phones are relegated to being museum pieces.
Posted by LoyalTubist at 8:20 pm (PDT) on Sat July 30, 2016   
The Bell Telephone attraction at Disneyland, "America the Beautiful" had group telephone booths as you left it. This was supposed to be communication of the future.
Posted by LoyalTubist at 8:17 pm (PDT) on Sat July 30, 2016   
Needles has two pay phones at the Frontier Phone Company office and the Chamber of Commerce building near the Amtrak depot.
Posted by Bob Matthews at 12:06 am (PDT) on Tue May 10, 2016   
Dolly, you brought back a forgotten memory! You'd close the folding phone booth door, the ceiling light and fan automatically came on, and you sat on that odd shaped seat and made your call. I recall seeing people smoking in the closed phone booth as they talked.

Before you exited the booth you checked the coin slot because, who knows? you might get lucky! Laughing
Posted by Dolly at 9:17 pm (PDT) on Mon May 9, 2016   
There are none around NYC anymore.. The lest one I remember was in a bar on Mulberry st. Giambones they had he booth with the seat and the fan went on when you shut the door. The whole nine!!
Posted by CJ at 6:44 pm (PDT) on Mon April 11, 2016   
@Bob Mathews - Whenever they would drop through, I'd put it my mouth mouth to get it damp and tried again...usually worked.

I know...Ugh! How unsanitary! Back then we never thought about it. Maybe because we had a healthy immune system and little things like that gave it practice and made it strong and healthy.
Posted by Bob Matthews at 6:02 am (PDT) on Mon April 11, 2016   
Remember the occasional coins that wouldn't register? They dropped straight down into the metal coin return. Wondering what was wrong you'd take it out of the receptacle and look at it and go "Oh, Canadian."
Posted by freddo30 at 10:16 pm (PDT) on Sun April 10, 2016   
A friend of mine held the patent for a counterfeit coin detector for these ; of course he had to sign it over to the "phone company" but his name's on it.
Posted by Chuck Kopsho at 11:18 am (PDT) on Tue June 2, 2015   
Y'know, I've seen them on TV from time-to-time, but in the real world, I haven't seen them anywhere. Pay phones, in the not so distant future, will be museum pieces.
Posted by Bob Matthews at 1:58 pm (PST) on Wed December 4, 2013   
Even better was pushing down the coin return lever and hearing all the nickels, dimes and quarters clanking into the coin return slot Laughing
Posted by unclekipsy at 1:05 pm (PST) on Wed December 4, 2013   
Local candy store had a wooden booth with a public pay phone, .10 cents if I recall. Shut the door and the light went on in the booth. I liked the clink-clink bell sound when you dropped coins in them.
Posted by Bob Matthews at 4:03 pm (PDT) on Sat April 27, 2013   
Somewhere on the 'net there is or was a fascinating audio clip of a "long-distance operator" putting through a call made from a pay phone. The clicks and pops and buzzes the circuitry made and the sound of the coins being dropped brought back such memories...
Posted by Duff at 5:05 pm (PST) on Thu December 27, 2012   
Mugs... Here in the U.S., the large carriers have gotten out of the pay phone business, and the remaining pay phones are owned by small companies. There is no standard charge for a call, and 50 cents, I think, would be on the low side.
Posted by kluv42 at 11:50 am (PST) on Fri November 9, 2012   
"Clark Kent" would change into his Superman duds in a phone booth...

That was until the 1980-ish Superman movie, when Christopher Reeve's Kent saw the need to change and looked around for a booth to use... All he could see was those new open-kiosk type booths... He ducked into an alley to change :)
Posted by mugs at 8:49 am (PDT) on Mon July 23, 2012   
I don't know about Stateside, but here in Canada, Bell has upped the cost to 50 cents!
Perfect way to keep people to use them: up the price! Go Ma Bell! lol
Posted by Duff at 3:40 am (PDT) on Sun May 2, 2010   
Reminds me of the lamp I once gave a couple of friends as a wedding gift. It was made from an old parking meter, and they had so much fun putting coins in it that they didn't realize they HAD to put coins in until the light turned off unexpectedly.
Posted by Gary Pillsbury at 11:14 pm (PDT) on Sat May 1, 2010   
Believe it or not,but I did find one in a catalog,back in the 1990's,which they did cost something like $50 for it. They was real enough to use as a regular phone,the dial was a buttons,but if you did put money in,it would double as a bank for you. Of course,the key did come with it so that you could get the money out of it. On the center of the dial,it did have the year printed,which was 1956. I was really surprised that I did get that one as that was the year I was born! Of course,the reason that not so many of them are around is that most people are using cell phones now. Why bother with a pay phone,when you could use a cell phone to call.
Posted by Joyce at 12:48 pm (PDT) on Thu September 3, 2009   
I remember a episode of The Brady Bunch, where the father bought one for the house. Because all the kids were fighting over the house phone and he couldn't get a phone call through. Now that's funny, to have a pay phone in your home.
Posted by emrice at 2:24 am (PDT) on Mon August 17, 2009   
They may still be around but they don't have the character of the original ones.
Posted by Duff at 5:20 pm (PDT) on Sat May 9, 2009   
I recall that pharmacies, in particular, would have "public telephones inside" stickers on their windows, and one wall would have a row of wooden phone booths with seats.

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