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the Magic Time Machine and others


I moved here at the age of 5 and grew up in the suburbs off Northwest 183, but going downtown was such a treat. This is the 80s, so I'm a little behind... but I bet at least some of you worked at The Magic Time Machine. I know it's a chain and that there's one in San Antonio, but I have a feeling the Austin version was, of course, the best.

That place made me want to grow up to be a waitress. It looked incredibly fun-- you got to dress up in costumes and entertain your tables-- to a kid it was extremely magical. We went only a few times, when people came to visit or for a friend's birthday party... but what a great place.

I remember one time coming out of the bathroom stall and finding Wonder Woman and Tinkerbell standing there bitching about someone while primping. I think it was the first time I'd ever heard the f word.

Mad Dog and Beans - a bus trip to the drag with my friends at thirteen and a quest for this place in a summer downpour, then freezing while finally downing our millkshakes while soaking wet...

Steve's Ice Cream - I still have a sweatshirt, stained with chocolate ice cream which I had won by playing Madonna's "Cherish" on the piano.

Showplace Pizza Parlor? (Not Showbiz) I need help with this one-- don't remember where it was or even what it was called but man that place was incredible-- 1920's era silent movie theater with an actual organ player, nickelodeons and a creepy mummy behind yellowed glass-- and I remember the taxidermy cappuchin monkey with the little cymbals... it was so great and I barely remember it now...

And that big boat my bus always went by on the way to school- right at 183 and Mopac now I think-- the Showboat for a little while? Hazy memories... I always wanted to go there and then it shut down. Maybe that pizza place was near there.

I don't suppose anyone else ever lived North enough to frequent the Mr. Gatti's on 183 near Anderson Mill Road? This was our post swim meet party room and those old wooden booths were so caked with graffiti and carvings I can still see them. How many little swim team kids can you cram into a booth at Gatti's? Something like 60 I think. I might be exaggerating...

Mr Gattis on 183

That was THE place to hang out. I remember the big night was Saturday to watch "Saturday Night Live" and sneaking beer.

Magic Time Machine

Wasn't it on Riverside-not far from I35
Went there a couple of time but it was pretty expensive for back then. It was tough going there if you were a college student and living on a budget


It was Scampi's pizza parlor! Right? I think that's what it was called!

Scampi's Pizza

Yes---Scampi's!! Seating was arranged around a tiny stage where a magician would perform. Behind the stage was a pipe organ with huge pipes. There was the monkey... and one of those wacky, lanky puppet birds would ride a bicycle on a tightrope that was above the stage. There was a curving stairway that led to upstairs dining, where you could overlook the stage while you dined. Along the stairwell were little tiny windows you could peek through... where you'd find life-size versions of something like Dracula or the Mummy or Wolfman or something like that. What a magical place for me as a kid!!!