Cincinnati Public Radio

Remembering Larry Thomas

Cincinnati Public Radio mourns the loss of our dear friend and colleague Larry Thomas.

Larry graced us with his wit, love of movies and hearty laugh. Whether hosting classical music on WGUC, offering movie reviews and interviews on WVXU, producing publications for members, or conversing with listeners, he did it with joy and an infectious sense of humor.

We will always carry him in our hearts and extend our deeply felt condolences to his family and friends.



Remembrances:

I'm so sorry to hear the news. Larry was always there with a joke, a smile... and willing to cover that 10-noon shift when we needed him. I still remember him coming in during the fund drive with his arms full of Starbuck's. He was also such a quick wit. I missed him when he retired and will continue to remember him fondly.

Maryanne Zeleznik


I am so sorry to hear about Larry. A friend for 40 years. So smart and so funny.

Robyn Carey Allgeyer


Larry didn't just love movies, music and radio. Larry loved sharing his love of movies, music and radio - no matter whether he was reviewing a film, hosting a classical music or WVXU shift, or editing an article for the member magazine Artscape or subsequent newsletters, he did it with joy and an ever ready joke or pun. His laugh was hearty and heartfelt and filled the halls - and could make a difficult day feel so much better. Unlike most, he rejoiced in rainy days. So much so, that I think of him whenever it rains. He was a true friend and I cherish and will always be grateful for that friendship.

Chris Phelps


I wish I could come close to describing what it felt like to make Larry laugh. He had a great big genuine laugh and it's one of the things I'll miss most of all. He was generous in all ways – always the first to give or volunteer. During fund drives he would stop at 6am to pick up coffee for us – he even bought a carrier so he could carry them all. He called himself the Coffee Dog (his nickname for himself) – even panted a bit and did a little bark. How many people do you know who would do that (the coffee part, with or without barking?) To this day I have a Pavlovian response to Two Hour Tuesday, thinking a caramel macchiato will be arriving shortly. I read some of his texts yesterday and I swear I could almost hear his voice. I'll always be grateful for his friendship; every time I eat Indian food or watch an old movie, I'll think of Larry. And whenever a funny, but maybe not entirely appropriate quip floats through my mind, I'll think of him. And wait for the laugh.

Sherri Mancini


I was so lucky to meet and wed Larry Thomas. The fun and laughter he brought to my life has made me a better person. I don't think there was anyone who ever met him that didn't like him. You might have been in awe of how he could come up with those puns and word plays so easily but his wit, booming laugh and kindness made him who he was. His knowledge of film and music was amazing. I always said that it's a fortunate man who can take his hobbies and passions and make them into a life long career. He was most proud of his time at Cincinnati Public Radio and his theater, The Movies Repertory Cinema on Race Street. He wanted a Celebration of Life that we are planning at a later date probably in the spring. It would be nice to get beyond the troubled times we are living in now and be able to talk and laugh together in a crowd without masks and so much social distancing. He will be so missed but in my heart always.

Charlotte Thomas


There a so many things I will cherish about my time working with Larry. He taught me about the importance of how a good soundtrack (especially Ennio Morricone) can make a great film magnificent. He always, always, always made me laugh. But, the thing I remember most fondly was, in 2008, the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out on May 22 - my son's 7th birthday. Larry gifted Jesse a genuine, promotional Indiana Jones whip (perfect gift for a 7-year-old, right?!?). That is just the kind of giving, caring and thoughtful human being he was. We shared a lot of inside jokes and I will always think of him whenever I hear the name... Frau Blucher!

Jim Nolan


Larry was a genuinely good human being, even with the bad puns! He had a laugh that started deep inside and filled a room. He was IMDB before there was such a thing...he loved talking movies and it was great when we had his reviews on WVXU. When I was facing some health issues, Larry was one of the first to tell me to concentrate on getting well and that everything at the station would be ok. That kind of reassurance goes a long way and it meant the world to me. He'll never be forgotten because he was truly unforgettable. My love to Charlotte through these days.

Kevin Reynolds


Larry was so much a part of our lives for over 40 years. We met through our mutual friend Michael Schlesinger when we were invited to have dinner with author and historian Leonard Maltin. Not long after that, Larry and Mike opened the Movies Repertory Cinema in downtown Cincinnati. I was looking for a part time job to supplement our income and my father in law saw an ad for a motion picture projectionist. As fate would decree, it was at The Movies. I got the job and Larry and I got reacquainted. Our friendship grew and we spent lots of good times together watching and talking movies, going to restaurants and lots of good company. Larry introduced Patty and I to our first taste of Indian and Mediterranean food. Our friendship increased when he met and married the love of his life, Charlotte. Larry's accomplishments are vast. Theatre owner, film booker, film critic, radio personality, and then some. After his retirement from WGUC, he continued to book films all around the country, until his health would no longer permit it. The last few years, Larry and Charlotte hosted our family Thanksgiving that not only included our immediate family but our extended families as well. Larry was there for us though good times and bad. He and Charlotte got us through some of the roughest days of our lives. Even with his passing, our love and devotion will continue through his remarkable spirit and memories that will never fade. Here's to you LPT. As was our customary toast (that Larry introduced) "Shazbaat!"

Joe Busam


I am still trying to get my mind around the fact that Larry is really gone. He was my friend for over 35 years--as long as I've known Charlotte. As so many have already expressed, Larry will be remembered for his quick, acerbic wit, his genuine kindness, and his jolly, infectious laughter. One of my fondest memories of Larry is of this thoughtfulness when I was going through a particularly rough time in my life. In the early 1990s I had surgery that necessitated my missing work for a couple of months and resting at home. It was the dead of winter, and I had little to do. My television was small, and I had no VCR to watch movies. Larry and Charlotte helped me to shop for a new tv, and they made sure I had a VCR and movies to keep me happily occupied throughout those cold months of healing. Larry, of course, will always be remembered for his great love of movies and his almost encyclopedic knowledge of film and everything that pertains to film. It was always a great treat to be invited to watch a movie with Larry; I always wondered what facets of the story, or the way the story was presented, Larry was picking up on that I was missing. We both enjoyed horror flicks, a genre others such as Charlotte and our mutual friend Deb Kees did not find so intriguing. Larry also had a way of sneaking up behind me and scaring me out of my wits! And he would certainly get a kick out of that. Moreover, Larry could always seem to get me to put my foot in my mouth inadvertently, to say something innocently that could be construed as a double entendre. He would burst with laughter as my face turned red, and I wondered how he had once again influenced me to slip up and say something innocuous that could also be taken as a ribald comment. I don't usually fall into that trap, but around Larry I was a frequent victim. I have so many good memories of spending time with Larry and Charlotte: the framed movie posters that adorn their warm home, the movie-related ornaments that decorate their Christmas tree, the trip we took years ago to Topsail Island, watching Dr. Zhivago in the last row of the Movies Repertory Theater, dinners of Indian food or LaRosas pizza.... The memories of Larry Thomas, both great and small, bring deep sadness right now because the wound is too raw, and the good times will not be continued. But in time I know they will bring smiles and chuckles again, and that's the way Larry would have wanted it. Larry, "Fluffy" will always remember you with fondness for our long friendship and love for the man himself.

Donna Freihofer


I was deeply saddened to learn of Larry's passing while listening to WVXU. In the early 80's,I met Larry when I joined The Cincinnati Film Society. We tried to show movies that we loved or you just didn't have the opportunity to see that often. Without Larry, we couldn't have existed. He could get whatever film we wanted. He always had wonderful suggestions for programming. It was fantastic when he started The Movies Repertory Theatre. I fondly remember the circular that had the weeks' upcoming movies. With a little planning, you could do your own double (triple) features. I loved listening to Larry on the radio, "Hey, I know that guy." His love of all things film related was boundless. I really enjoyed his program of film soundtracks. So glad I got to know this kind, wonderful man. Deepest condolences.

Greg Hudson


As I read the previous comments, I realize what an indelible mark Larry left on his friends and just how lucky we were to be in his circle of friends. His quick wit and wonderful sense of humor were legendary. And that laugh!!! I will do my best to always remember that. Larry was also a pun master. His best puns were those you never saw coming. You will be dearly missed Larry Thomas, but you will live on in our memories. And our laughter.

Deb Kees


Yes, there were the puns--one or two, reliably slipped into each of our exchanges. It's a small thing, but one aspect of Larry's radio skills was the way he would articulate the name of a French or Italian composer perfectly, but without parting in the least with his squarely Midwestern accent. I liked that. Also, back in the 80s, travelling NY production crews would come to town and stay at the Netherland Plaza, where I worked nights as an auditor. The performers and crew would tell me that they were relieved to be in Cincy--because The Movies, Mullane's Cafe, and the Blue Wisp were just up the street at Garfield Place. It was their secret slice of The Village away from home--and likely the only slice of The Village that I will ever experience. Just as Joni sang it, you don't always know what you've got 'til it's gone. Thank you, Larry, for making our lives quite a bit more fun.

Terry Donohue


I did not know Larry personally but LOVED The Movies - and even his monthly poster sheets he put out - which almost demanded that one see this move and that movie....what a great story teller - and gifted reviewer as well - he will be missed! RIP Larry!

John Romer


Funny, smart and generous, and a man of so many interests. That was Larry. We often found ourselves working at the station on Saturday mornings, and he always made a point to find me in the studio to say hello and share his latest goofy jokes. And he never said no to a favor -- whether it was station business, or whatever charitable project I was working on. Condolences to Charlotte, as well as Larry's extended network of friends.

Suzanne Bona


I'm so sorry to hear of Larry's passing. He was such a good friend and partner during my time at WGUC. I remember in my job interview 20 years ago making the analogy that the internet at the time was like silent movies, and the friendship was struck from there. And then, of course, his laugh was priceless. God bless, and Rest In Peace.

Andrew Lucyszyn


Larry was unique. His knowledge and enjoyment of movie history, trivia, etc., was encyclopedic, and we all loved him for it. In my earlier days at WGUC, I got to know Larry when we both worked Saturday mornings. Went to a WGUC party at his house one evening and met "Thumper" (always thought his references to her by that nickname were special and sweet). Been a long time since I have seen him, but such a one-of-a-kind guy will never be forgotten. Wishing Charlotte (Thumper) most special and heartfelt condolances.

Lloyd Bryant


I met Larry back in the early 70s when we were both in our 20s. I have known and looked up to several film buyer friends, however Larry was the ICON film buyer who was the savior of the repertory theatre with his superior historical knowledge of the motion picture industry. Larry was loved by all who knew him socially and professionally. I will miss Larrys knack to snap me or anyone who needed a laugh into laughter by just calling him and within seconds we would be cracking up. Locally we lost three men in 2020 who will be historical fiqures in motion picture history. Roy White, Mid-States Theatres Interstate Theatre Serv. Phil Borack, TriState Theatre, Producer Larry Thomas, Film & Music. historian And on a national level, Sumner Redstone, National Amusements, Viacom We thank the above 4 men for continuing film exhibition in our city after RKO Theatres retired. All 4 are ICONS in the motion picture business and are missed!!

Mark Siegel


A True Mensch. Larry, thanks for all your great wit on the radio, and all those magical hours in your movie theater. You were an endless fountain of stories and humor which I still remember fondly and with delight, and I'll always be grateful to have known you. Once, after hearing Charles Laughton again on Thanksgiving, you said "there's more religion in that story than in any church." Amen. As Laughton says, "...the spirit goes on...," and so does yours. Hugs and condolences to Thumper.

John Birge


Larry always had a glimmer of happy mischief in his eyes and a joke at-the-ready. Every time I hear a pun or a witty quip, I will think of him and remember his spirit.

Jackie Roberto


If you would like to share your memories of Larry, please use the form below and we will post them on this page.

 




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