Photo of The Month – Oct 2006
Picture contributor: James Harris
In early summer of 1949 when Roy Lee Harris made this photo outside the Griffin Theater in Forest City, we were more patient, easier to amuse and unspoiled by the mass media. There was no television then (WBTV would sign on later in the summer, but months and even years would pass before many of us owned tv sets).
We suspect this was taken on a Saturday, when couples and families desired more upscale entertainment than the western-and-a low-budget-thriller double features always scheduled on Saturdays at the Cliffside Theater. In those days, there were no summer blockbuster movies. The major studios released a new film every week or so throughout the year. So, on weekends adults would flock to more modern theaters, such as the Griffin or the State or Rogers in Shelby, which offered carpeting and air conditioning and first-run movies.
Imagine, if you can, anyone today standing in long lines for a run-of-the-mill comedy like “Mr. Belvedere Goes To College,” featuring a prissy, sniffy Clifton Webb and faded, former child star, Shirley Temple. But it was fun at the time, in large part because couples had their eyes on each other, and families got out of the summer heat.