Recently, Lost City Brooks posted some photos of a fruit-drink stand in Times Square, via the blog Aaron Signs. The fruit-drink stand was called Elpine Drinks and it stood on 46th St. and 7th Ave. I've been trying to dig up information on Elpine for a few years, ever since seeing it for the first time in the movie Sweet Smell of Success.
It's the place where Tony Curtis, as press agent Sidney Falco, goes to grab a late-night hot dog and a juice in a conical paper cup, to check the newspapers and make his important phone calls.
According to the menu in the background, cream-cheese sandwiches were 15 cents and you could get a malted milk for a dime. But that, and the information posted by Brooks and Aaron, clipped from a 1969 New York Magazine, is all I know about Elpine. Otherwise, it's like this odd little chain never existed.
1955 photo via Lileks
Still, I like to think about going in there--under the smoke rings of the Camel sign, with the racket of an upstairs billiard parlor breaking through an open window, on a hot summer day, drinking fresh-squeezed juice from a paper cone in a stainless steel holder...which, by the way, you can still enjoy today at the Lexington Candy Shop.
Update: Thanks to commenter Alana for pointing us to this 1943 panoramic photo at Shorpy--here's the Elpine detail (with girls in gloves and bobby socks):
Photo: John Vachon