Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year from "At The Matinee" (and an update on Woodsboro's Cinema House)

The author of At The Matinee wishes every reader a happy, healthful, and prosperous 2015!  

When I started this blog on January 11, 2014- not only was At The Matinee inspired by my interest in classic film and film preservation, it was inspired from an article that I wrote for the The Woodsboro-Walkersville Times (originally known as The Woodsboro Times when my article was published last year).  The other inspiration for this blog was Mr. John McElwee's famous classic film blog, Greenbriar Picture Shows.

The Woodsboro Bank Building in Woodsboro, Maryland-
originally taken for my article (in The Woodsboro Times)
on the movie theater that operated in the building from 1915 to 1953.
Originally taken in December 2013 (for the
January 2014 edition of the publication).
MORE TIDBITS ON THE WOODSBORO OPERA HOUSE: The article was about the town's movie theater that operated in the Woodsboro Bank building for nearly forty years.  My article received praise from friends, peers, and various classic film enthusiasts.  A year after that article was published, I came across several more tidbits on the movie palace inside the bank building (and a film that was shown there).

According to further research from The Lantern Media History Archivethe theater was featured in a trade advertisement in the October 1918 edition of Reel and Slide Magazine .  It was for Universal Studios' release of Over The Roads To War, an industrial short produced by the studio for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company about America's preparedness into the First World War.  

My estimation is that that Over The Roads To War might be considered a "lost film", since many industrial silents (produced by major studios including Universal) may have been junked, or lost due to decomposing nitrate film stock.  No other account of any other studio feature films at the theater (until its demise in 1953) were found, not even in the exclusive online historical database of The Frederick News-Post at Hood College.

Another part that I found on Woodsboro's cinema house was in a 1991 historical survey on the Woodsboro Bank building, prepared by the Maryland Historic Trust (an agency of the State of Maryland).  According to the report, it was mentioned that the ticket booth on the second floor of the Woodsboro Bank building was used for the movie theater, including some details on the "auditorium" section of the building.  

It was interesting to find out about one film being shown at Woodsboro's theater complex in 1918, yet I'm still curious about what other films were shown there (in addition to Vaudeville performers that performed there, what sound system was used during the "dawn of sound pictures", and the theater's use as a community gathering center). 

I hope all readers of At The Matinee had a wonderful holiday season.  Be on the lookout for more exciting posts throughout 2015!

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