Saturday Matinee

By Unknown, on behalf of the Moore Theatre. Photo and retouching by Joe Mabel. [Public domain, Public domain or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Vaudeville Poster

There are two major themes to Jim’s letter this week. One involves the attempt religion makes to control people’s baser desires for entertainment and joy. The second theme goes straight to one of Jim’s favorite forms of entertainment … movies.

By the time I was ten years old the vaudeville feature of Saturday afternoon was long gone. We still had a wonderful time watching great movies, and the weekly serial. Many of these serials are available on YouTube. It is so fun to binge watch them, because you can see the difference between the situation at the cliff-hanger at the end of last weeks’ episode, and the opening “reenactment” of that cliff-hanger in this episode. What was impossible last week is a simple inconvenience this week.

Wouldn’t it be nice if life worked like that? Maybe the diagnosis of an incurable disease last week could turn into a common cold this week? It worked in the serials, why not in life?

I hope you enjoy this letter.

Jim writes:

Five acts of vaudeville straight from a recent Broadway engagement, a feature length film, a cartoon and an episode from the serial “Lone Ranger and Tonto” … all this packed into a three and one half hour Saturday afternoon at our one and only theatre.

During the summer of 1938 and admission was only 15¢! Every Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m. I beat rugs with a thing that resembled a huge fly swatter, cut grass with a push type reel mower, swept out the garage, washed windows and was kept busy until noon … all this for the princely sum of 45¢! The only problem I had was this was Rev. Rueben Davis and his wife Nora. It was at his house that I performed all these chores!

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