Often the reason there is a lot of time between my posts is that the length of the one in the works just keeps getting longer and longer. That is happening right now. I’m working on a long one about bicycles which still is not ready. Meantime former councilman Onis Harper dropped off photocopies of a couple of interesting things. So let’s take a look at those.
First up is a copy of a 1939 guide to the movies at the Powhatan Theatre. What interests me about a brochure such as this is that until now I never knew they existed. When you think about it, probably most of the theaters had their own. Still this is the only one I have ever seen.
Of course we all knew that the theaters advertised in the newspapers, but how many of you have seen a brochure like this before? It makes perfect sense that a movie fan could pick up one of these at the pharmacy or the hardware store or maybe the grocery store. The Sutton-Elm Pharmacy advertised on the back was in the spot now occupied by the MauHaus, our cat cafe. This type of “Program Calendar” was undoubtedly very useful but not something one might save. Who was it that once said the most common items of any civilization become the rarest because they are never preserved?
It’s good for the entire month of September plus a few days in October. For those of you who might not be familiar with the term Air Dome it was simply an outdoor screen. Necessary in the days before air conditioning. I’m not sure where the term originated but it was widely used. The Powhatan also had a large building adjacent to the Air Dome. Records indicate the theater seated, variously, 850 persons, 1200 in 1937 and 954 in 1950. See Maplewood History – Volume Two.
This is the other image that Onis was kind enough to share with us. I don’t know a thing about the Salvation Army. Maybe some readers can fill in the blanks for us.
Thank you, Mr. Harper, for sharing these with us. Are you related to the Harper family of the Harper Pharmacy fame? Harper is a surname well known in Maplewood since the beginning.
As always, thanks to everyone who contributes, tips, suggestions, or whatever. Everything is appreciated. And don’t forget to wear your mask.
Doug Houser December 9, 2020