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Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The Liberty Once Upon An Autumn Day


Our Big Parade For 1959

A local friend made my day when he brought by this wonderful image of our Liberty Theatre from a 1959 high school yearbook. Occasion was that year's Fall Harvest Parade, occasion to show latest farm equipment and whatever beauties had lately been crowned at homecomings. We had many such events in then-North Wilkesboro. Parades, especially at Christmas, brought out the whole county, the Liberty wide open in case anyone wanted to unwind with a movie and concessions. The Thursday-Friday bill paired King Of The Wild Stallions with Little Rascals Varieties, latter a group of Our Gang shorts that included Pinch Singer, Reunion In Rhythm, and The Our Gang Follies of 1936 and 1938. Both these attractions were "new" to extent of Varieties being compiled in 1959, while King Of The Wild Stallions was a May release of that year. Close inspect of the front door reveals a figure that I'm satisfied is Colonel Roy Forehand, ever-present manager of the Liberty. There was at that time a display of posters between the entry and exit doors on the right and left. It would be taken out when they re-did the front in the mid-sixties, a regret because sometimes there would be three-sheets there which afterward had no space large enough to hang. Note the Liberty still using newsreels in 1959, and touting Cinemascope plus Stereophonic Sound. Serials were still a mainstay at the Liberty, Jesse James Rides Again having recently played off when this picture was taken. To right of the main marquee is North By Northwest, which would begin on Sunday and play till Thursday. Blink and you could miss a great show at the Liberty.

5 Comments:

Blogger Donald Benson said...

I always imagined Colonel Forehand as wearing a white suit ...

At the Granada in Morgan Hill, Three Big Days was the standard run well into the 60s. Really big pictures like "Sound of Music" and "2001" could take up to a year to travel the few miles from downtown San Jose; if they were still warm they might rate Five Big Days. I don't remember the Granada ever showing serials or live action shorts, but we usually got a Walter Lantz cartoon before each feature. After local multiplexes arrived the Granada was converted into a banquet hall, keeping the facade and marquee.

The 4th of July parade was the big deal. Those were the days of hard candy being thrown from the floats, multiple bands, and lots of horses (there was usually a gymkhana after the parade). The route would end at a park with local food booths, games, and a big raffle. There was never an actual carnival with rides and such; I don't know if that was a decision or it just never came up.

4:53 PM  
Blogger MikeD said...

Why'd they bother printing Spanky and Darla's last names? Where there ever any other Spankies or Darlas?

8:25 AM  
Blogger Rodney said...

What a delightful looking town. I enjoy these stores about small towns in the past.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

Leave it to John to post something about Liberty on the Fourth of July!

4:56 PM  
Blogger Filmfanman said...

MikeD :
Possibilities - their managers demanded it, to distinguish them as "stars" from the rest of the cast; and/or their managers, bearing the same family name, insisted upon it, wanting by this means to gain some share of the fame (perhaps along with some share of the income)for themselves.
(This latter point makes me wonder about the linguistic roots of the words "family" and "fame" - those words must be related, I think:)

7:09 AM  

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