Scottish Rite to show old-time movie in February

Thursday, January 12, 2012

TERRE HAUTE -- The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Terre Haute, will turn the hands of the clock back 70 years.

The Scottish Rite will host "1942 at the Hippodrome: A Movie Experience," Sunday, Feb. 19.

"This will be a unique experience because going to the movie house back then was an entire afternoon or evening out on the town," event coordinator and Scottish Rite officer Christopher Stevens said. "It was definitely an experience much different than today's casual visit to the multiplex of the 21st Century."

Stevens said typically, the National Anthem was sung by the audience followed by a fun participation sing-along, a cartoon, a newsreel, a cliffhanger serial, ad then the main feature.

In some cases, there were two features, a "B" movie followed by a big studio release.

"With this event, we are paying homage to those bygone days as well as those who lived during that time," Stevens said.

Since 1956, the Scottish Rite, a Masonic fraternity, has called the historic Hippodrome Theatre, on the corner of 8th and Ohio Streets in Terre Haute, its home.

Originally, the Hippodrome was the Midwest's mecca on the Vaudeville circuit from 1915 until the advent of talking motion pictures in 1930.

Then, the Hippodrome was a movie palace and stage play theatre, in various forms, from 1930-55.

"We have a grand, ornate auditorium and we are extremely happy to present a vintage movie complete with other period materials on the big screen again," Stevens said. "It will be fantastic to have an audience enjoying themselves like it was back in 1942."

The main feature will be the 1942 Cary Grant comedy, "The Talk of the Town," supported by other 1942 releases, including a "Merrie Melodies" cartoon, an animated bouncing ball sing-along, a war-time newsreel, a comedy short, and a "Captain Marvel" serial.

"As a huge bonus from the archives we have recovered advertising from several local Terre Haute merchants, American propaganda issued by the government and advertising from national companies, which would have been shown on the screen prior to the show in the early 40s," Steven said.

"Most of those local businesses have vanished into the pages of time. Since those places are long gone, it will be a real treat to see those advertisements up there on the silver screen.

"No other place in the entire area can offer this unique lineup. It definitely will be a trip down memory lane for those who lived during that time and quite a learning experience for the rest of the audience. It will be a lot of fun for everyone to relive those days."

The event will take place to commemorate the World War II heroes who left in droves to serve the United States overseas and the American citizens who kept the patriotic fires lit on the home front.

"After Pearl Harbor was bombed Dec. 7, 1941, America went full-tilt for the war effort," Stevens said.

"Patriotism sprung up all over the United States including right here in the Wabash Valley.

"That is an important part of our past, and we want to honor the memory of the soldier and citizen with this movie event. We can't allow those memories to simply fade away."

The event is free of charge and open to the public.

A concession stand will offer a wide selection of favorite movie treats, with all proceeds going toward the restoration of the Hippodrome Theatre's auditorium.

Seating is limited.

The doors will open at 1 p.m., and the advertising and propaganda slideshow will begin at 1:15. The featuring programming will start at 2 p.m.

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