Park Theater opened its doors for the first time in 1939.
To commemorate that event and the theater’s recent renovation, Magness Library director Brad Walker donated a framed picture of the ticket booth taken almost 78 years ago.
“We are very appreciative of Brad and Magness Library sharing a piece of Park Theater history with us,” said Park Theater manager Kevin Roberts. “The photo will be proudly displayed in the wall boxes in the theater lobby. Everything we do at the theater encompasses community and this is evidence of the wonderful support the community has shown to us.”
Cowan Oldham spent $50,000 constructing what was considered to be the most modern building and movie theater of its time. The city of McMinnville spent in excess of $2 million renovating it into a multiuse facility with a focus on preserving as much of the original architecture as possible.
“We felt this would be a nice addition to Park Theater,” said Walker. “We wanted to remember the past and honor the renovation of this historic building by sharing this unique photograph with them. This picture is from our Brady-Hughes-Beasley Archives.”
The Brady-Huges-Beasley Archive was donated to the library and spans more than 100 years of history in McMinnville and Warren County. Anthia Brady Hughes founded Hughes Studio in the late 1890s.
Volunteer archivist Carol Caldwell has undertaken the monumental task of organizing the archive, which contains more than 70,000 images.
“I dated the picture using the film poster featured on the wall,” said Caldwell. “It’s advertising Martha Raye and Joe E. Brown starring in ‘$1,000 A Touchdown.’ That movie was released nationwide on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 1939. By the sign, the movie was set to start on Friday.”
Library officials are planning to offer many restored archive prints for sale. All the prints are made from fully restored original negatives and printed on archival paper. Anyone interested in purchasing prints can call Magness Library at 473-2428.