In today’s world, news comes to us in many forms, TV, internet, phone, etc. In the 1930’s, one way was via the local movie theater. Two events of note are described in Opera House News, Volume 1, No. 23 distributed by the local theater in June of 1937 (5 cents per copy). A major world event was the coronation of England’s King George VI. The Millinocket Opera House showed, not a newsreel, but a documentary feature. This innovation was described as “a most significant application of the instrument of the motion picture to world events.” And the event was “enhanced by Technicolor.” The article continues, stating that as the coronation was colorful with flashing jewels and purple velvet, the use of Technicolor enabled the viewer to enjoy all the splendor of the event.
The same issue (and only one in the museum’s collection) also announced that “the battle of the year,” the boxing match between James Braddock and Joe Louis would be shown on Wednesday and Thursday. Opera House patrons “will see for 35 cents what fight fans paid $16 for in Chicago.” This was shown at some time after the fight actually took place and the article gives away the ending stating “the entire match, which saw a fighting champion go down before a stronger challenger, has been filmed at close range.”
A previous column stated Frank LePage was manager of the Millinocket Theater. He was the owner. He and his family started the Millinocket Theater at 75 Penobscot Avenue in 1938. As mentioned in the previous column, The Crown Theater (1937, Milton Glickman) began at that location and was quickly renamed Keith Theater. Then Charles Madden purchased all the equipment and further up Penobscot Avenue started the Four-Star Theater. This apparently all happened within a short time period, 1937-1938. Details are sketchy and a bit confusing. Thank you, Linda LePage Boyd for helping sort it out! At the museum, we are currently gathering all the theater photos and ephemera (paper items) into one location for easier access. Paper items include tickets, coming attraction handouts (various sizes), student movie passes, posters and more. Some of these will be on display in the near future. Donations of other local movie memorabilia welcomed!
Bill Geller, author of “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” will be in Millinocket, Wednesday, April 17, 12 noon, speaking at the Millinocket Literary Club’s annual spring luncheon. Limited tickets, purchased in advance, available from club members, at the museum and at the library. Geller’s book will be on sale (benefit museum).

***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
…and more.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM weather permitting.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.