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North Hollywood Billiards - article quotes Bill Smith

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  • North Hollywood Billiards - article quotes Bill Smith

    I just happened upon this nice article from a few years back about the legendary North Hollywood Billiards, owned by Tiff Payne from 1962-1977, then by Larry Weir from 1977-2011.

    The article includes a brief interview of our Bill Smith.

    https://patch.com/california/northho...after-42-years

    I often wondered what happened to Tiff Payne's room after I left Hollywood in 1971. Sounds like Weir turned it into an even nicer room, and kept it going until his death in 2009. Any reminiscenses, Bill? When did Tiff die?

    ~Doc

  • #2
    Doc, what a good article about Tiff's in NH. I played a lot at 4th and Main Street when Romie owned it and between those two rooms most of the billiards play ocurred in the LA area. Funny how things go around come around. There is a 3C resurgence in LA with a new room opened up in NH called Million Dollar Billiards. Tough to get a table there at 1PM daily. Lastly one more room closed about twenty five years ago in Santa Monica called the "Mecca" which took care of the players in west LA.

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    • #3
      I wonder how many people know what Tiff Paynes real first name was?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jerry matchin View Post
        Doc, what a good article about Tiff's in NH. I played a lot at 4th and Main Street when Romie owned it and between those two rooms most of the billiards play ocurred in the LA area. Funny how things go around come around. There is a 3C resurgence in LA with a new room opened up in NH called Million Dollar Billiards. Tough to get a table there at 1PM daily. Lastly one more room closed about twenty five years ago in Santa Monica called the "Mecca" which took care of the players in west LA.
        While I was never much of a three cushion player, most of the prominent rooms where three cushion was played, also had golf action, usually on 5 x 10 snooker tables. This includes Romie’s, Tiff Payne’s and The Mecca.

        Frank Torres, A US National three cushion champion, was unbeatable playing two ball apiece golf at Tiff Payne’s in North Hollywood and they had a nice daily ring game that kept him in pocket change. Larry would stake him pretty high and I know Morro Paez tangled with him and came out on the wrong end. I would not play Frank with two balls and he would not play with one.

        The Mecca had some good golf players and they played a lot of partner games. I remember walking in and getting in a $50 game over 30 years ago. Guy went broke and wanted to keep playing and write a check. I was not crazy about that but the owner guaranteed it and it was good. (One of the few times that happened) I never did gamble much at three cushion. The best player always wins.

        They just installed a three cushion table at Hard Times and I can start knocking them around a bit.
        Last edited by jrhendy; 04-30-2018, 10:10 PM.
        JOHN HENDERSON
        Al Romero Cue
        Magic Chalk

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        • #5
          Great article, thanks. When I moved to southern CA in Oct 1976, this was my home room until I started school in Sept 1977 so it brought back memories. I even worked for Tiff and his partner at a wax factory they owned making waxes and polishes for the auto industry (like Mothers) for a few months. I have seen the bubble machine in action and loved hearing them tell me about how it was used during the Lawrence Welk show as someone mentioned.

          I wasn't around much during Larry's reign so missed that part. But, Tiff was a funny man. He had a large entry way in his home that he recently wallpapered. His neighbor had the same layout and asked Tiff how many rolls he bought, where Tiff told him let's say 8 rolls. A while later his neighbor knocked on his door and said he had 3 rolls left over so he bought too many. Tiff said "so did I"!!!!!! Then Tiff laughed every time he told that story.

          Dave

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Billy Jackets View Post
            I wonder how many people know what Tiff Paynes real first name was?
            I read it somewhere. Was it Clarence?

            ~Doc

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 12squared View Post
              Great article, thanks. When I moved to southern CA in Oct 1976, this was my home room until I started school in Sept 1977 so it brought back memories. I even worked for Tiff and his partner at a wax factory they owned making waxes and polishes for the auto industry (like Mothers) for a few months. I have seen the bubble machine in action and loved hearing them tell me about how it was used during the Lawrence Welk show as someone mentioned.

              I wasn't around much during Larry's reign so missed that part. But, Tiff was a funny man. He had a large entry way in his home that he recently wallpapered. His neighbor had the same layout and asked Tiff how many rolls he bought, where Tiff told him let's say 8 rolls. A while later his neighbor knocked on his door and said he had 3 rolls left over so he bought too many. Tiff said "so did I"!!!!!! Then Tiff laughed every time he told that story. Dave
              Great stories, Dave! When I hung out there in the '69-'70, I didn't realize that Tiff and Red had opened the place in '62.

              That's neat that you got to work with Tiff. He did have a great sense of humor. I believe he (and perhaps his wife) had been a hoofer in films when he was younger, so he knew a lot of Hollywood people. In fact some of the writers and comedy guys used to frequent the billiard room. There were always jokes flying around. He always seemed light on his feet, and had class; so I attributed that to his dancing career.

              Tiff's was the main 3C room, but there were several rooms that had billiard tables: Romie's, Hyd & Western, Chopsticks on Victory, Van Nuys Billiards, and a room a mile or so east of Tiff's-- I think owned by Harry Sims, but I could be wrong about the owner. It had pretty good equipment.

              ~Doc

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              • #8
                i enjoyed the read doc
                thanks for the link

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                • #9
                  I started playing 3C again after a long hiatus. A friend who is an Elks Club member took me to the Elks in NH a few times and they have five tables that are perfect. There are also other rooms in and around LA that have five or more tables that get very good play. A few years back Ernesto played a guy in the Bellflower area for 5K a game and didn't fare too well. I think the Elks Clubs around the country may have been responsible for keeping the game alive at least until many of the new wave of players arrived from around the world. In our Korean part of town there are several four and five table rooms which sport many good players who are relatively unknown but play very well.

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                  • #10
                    thanks for the link Doc!

                    I enjoy playing 3 cushion and I would play it a lot more if I had more time, such a beautiful game!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jerry matchin View Post
                      I started playing 3C again after a long hiatus. A friend who is an Elks Club member took me to the Elks in NH a few times and they have five tables that are perfect. There are also other rooms in and around LA that have five or more tables that get very good play. A few years back Ernesto played a guy in the Bellflower area for 5K a game and didn't fare too well. I think the Elks Clubs around the country may have been responsible for keeping the game alive at least until many of the new wave of players arrived from around the world. In our Korean part of town there are several four and five table rooms which sport many good players who are relatively unknown but play very well.
                      Actually the Burbank Elks Club is a bit of an anomaly. They've been known for their billiard advocacy for many years (and turns out that Tiff Payne was a member). I was an Elks member in another state for 26 years, and although I attended many other lodges, I never saw any of them with billiard tables. You were lucky if they had a bar box!

                      I don't know if the Koreans are wild about 3C or not, but I know they love the 4 ball game (with two reds). At least they were in Korea when I was over there in '66. But it's great to see a resurgence in the game. I wish it would spread to Dixie.

                      BTW, I just happened to find obituaries of Tiff. He live to aged 91, in 2002! He evidently spent his last 7 years in Henderson, Nev. But apparently he was interred in Forest Lawn in the Hyd Hills.

                      "Obituaries for May 10, 2002 in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper:
                      Clarence "Tiff" Payne, 91, of Henderson died Wednesday in a local hospital. He was born June 9, 1910, in Tiffin, Ohio. A resident for seven years, he was a retired wax salesman and a member of the Elks in Burbank, Calif.
                      He is survived by his wife, Miriam; one daughter, Sandra Shehab of Henderson; and two grandchildren.
                      Palm Mortuary, 7600 S. Eastern Ave., is handling arrangements."

                      "CLARENCE TIFF PAYNE Services were held Tuesday, May 14, 2002, 3:00 p.m., Cryptside, Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. He is survived by his wife, Mariam Payne; daughter, Sandra Wilkey; grandchildren, Chris Wilkey and Erin Wilkey-Cordray; and great grandchildren, Paige Wilkey and Olivia Wilkey. F OREST LAWN MORTUARY Hollywood Hills (800) 204-3131"

                      (Published in Los Angeles Daily News from May 14 to May 17, 2002)

                      I was hoping 3C Bill would give us some comments about the Larry Weir era.


                      ~Doc

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