Grab some popcorn, silence your cell phone, and enjoy the show.
In Historic Movie Theaters of Delaware, published by the History Press, film buff and writer Michael J. Nazarewycz invites readers to take a deep dive into the history of 150 movie theaters in the First State, from the Middletown Opera House—where attendees enjoyed viewing still photographs projected via Sciopticon in the early 1870s—to the multiplex cinemas of today. This is a cleverly cinema-themed book, with punny section titles including Opening Credits, Closing Credits, Fade In, Fade Out, and Moving Pictures, all referring to the life and times of various theaters. Rather than trace the history of individual theaters from beginning to end, Nazarewycz tackles the statewide scene in chronological order, one era at a time. Thus we learn in “Take” or chapter four that T. J. Waller built the first Waller Theatre in Laurel in 1913, but its disastrous burning in 1940 and subsequent replacement are mentioned three chapters later. The Waller (or New Waller) closed permanently after its ceiling collapsed in 1967.
Of the 150 theaters covered, only 22 are open today, a mere “14 of which are full-time movie theaters,” making Historic Movie Theaters of Delaware a valuable and important history of a vanishing part of Delaware’s past.
The Laurel Historical Society welcomes Michael J. Nazarewycz to St. Philip’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, March 16th, for a film-themed dinner, presentation, and book signing.
– Chris Slavens
The Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance invites the public to its annual Chicone Village Day, which will be held on Saturday, April 29th, at its Handsell property in Dorchester County.
From their site:
The NHPA was formed in 2005 to purchase and restore one of Dorchester County, Maryland’s most interesting and intriguing historic structures, an old ivy-covered brick building located in the middle of what is known as “the Indiantown”. After just a little bit of research, we knew we were on to something BIG. As the layers of the story unfolded, through research in archives, deeds, Wills and historic family letters, a better yet not fully complete story emerged of native people, licensed Indian traders, English settlers, British attacks, merchant activity and structural devastation.
The location is notable for its connection to all three of the major groups to call the neighborhood home during the colonial era: Nanticoke Indians, free and enslaved blacks, and English settlers. Since purchasing the property, the NHPA has worked to restore the brick house, and has erected authentic native structures.
For more information, visit restorehandsell.org.
– Chris Slavens
There are several archaeology-related events scheduled throughout the remainder of May, as Delaware celebrates Archaeology Month.
May 11, 13, 18: Archaeology, Cultural & Heritage Field Days in Dover, at which fourth graders will learn about “The Ceramics Revolution in Prehistory”
May 18: New Castle Chapter Meeting at the Greenbank Mill, 7 pm
May 21: Archaeological Society of Delaware Annual Meeting at Killens Pond State Park, beginning at 9:30 am with a potluck lunch. Entry fee $4.00 per car (or $8.00 for out-of-staters).
May 28: 6th Annual Maritime Festival in Lewes, 11 am – 3 pm
May 31: Kent County Chapter Meeting at the Dover Public Library, 6 pm
You can learn more at delawarearchaeology.org.
– Chris Slavens
Filed under Delaware, Events