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Tuesday, May 30, 2006





Looking Back At Wartime Lobbies


That first anniversary of Pearl Harbor found theatre lobbies dressed out with every conceivable lure for patrons to aid in the war effort. The "Victory Booth" was a common sight, as showmen were among the most effective bond salesmen. Those patriotic features, shorts, and newsreels didn’t go for naught. Audiences were besieged with solicitations before they even got through the front entrance. This scrap collection display on the sidewalk threatens to overwhelm the rather prosaic marquee in back of it --- the idea of tossing refuse into the open mouths of our enemies seems to have been effective, as one can envision parents lugging the stuff into theatres, then letting their kids have fun playing ring toss with Adolf. Day and night service at these bond counters was no idle promise. Many houses maintained round-the-clock schedules to accommodate third shift war workers anxious to catch the latest Andy Hardy before heading home for some a.m. shuteye. I bet non-participants really got the fish eye whenever giving those booths the go-by. Civilian slackers were no more to be tolerated than able-bodied men out of uniform, and the pressure to buy bonds and kick in on scrap drives must have been enormous. Even the happy prospect of seeing The Boogie Man Will Get You on a giant theatre screen would diminish somewhat in the face of contemptuous looks from expectant managers, ushers, and candy butchers, all of them conveying silent disapproval as you arrive sans scrap and leave minus bonds. I’ll bet they even took names in some of the smaller towns.

The above posting is number 200 for Greenbriar Picture Shows. We’ve been here since December 27, 2005, and the only day we’ve missed was when the
server broke down (in the beginning, there were sometimes three posts in a day!). All 200 of these stories are in the archive, and you can link to it anytime from the top of this main page or by going HERE. The drop-down search engine has individual options for names, movie titles, and categories (for instance, our Glamour Starters series has its own section, as does Horror, Comedy, Musical, etc.). Go there sometime if you haven’t already.

6 Comments:

Blogger convict 13 said...

Congratulations on your 200. I must say this site is a must see every day for me and I am sure that I am not alone. Thanks so much for all the hard work that you do for each and every post.

5:14 AM  
Blogger East Side said...

I second convict 13's message. Not many bloggers are as funny and perceptive as you.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

200! Amazing! I start my day with your blog every day. As an old retired projectionist I too lived through a lot of this, and miss those days.

A small thing..I had a friend named "Adolph" and he always was quick to remind everyone Hitler was "Adolf".

Please, keep up the good work...

8:48 AM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

Congrats on number 200. You have created 200 posts that were informative, funny, provoking, engaging and entertaining with some great images! This could've been a great book! Here's to many more...

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this site!!! Checking it out is a highlight of my daily routine. I've only been here for a few weeks--I'll have to go browse the archives. The only minor quibble I have is that you frequently misuse "it's" as the possessive (for example, from today's post: "our Glamour Starters series has it’s own section". Sorry to be pedantic--I'm a college professor and spend a lot of time grading papers--but "it's" stands for "it is," not "its." Otherwise this an awesome site! Your photographs alone blow my mind--the quality is superb, and there's stuff I've never ever seen before!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous ayres orchids said...

I'd like to add my kudos. You're a daily routine for me, too.

3:26 PM  

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