Vintage Stuff!

Before the age of streaming, before DVD, and VHS, before television…a night at the theatre was an event! So special some theaters produced paper programs for their movies. Let’s take a look at what the White Haven Legion Theatre was offering the week of December 18th through the 23rd in 1939.

Telephone numbers sure were a lot simpler in the 1930s! Although the featured Christmas film above was released in 1938, let’s open the program and see what else was playing that week…

Bad Little Angel and Drums Along The Mohawk were both released in 1939, allowing us to date this Legion Theatre program to the week of December 18th 1939. A very uncertain time in the world! Hitler was rampaging across Europe. In the US, there was a hot debate brewing whether to get involved, or stay out of a conflict which – in that year – seemed a world away from the United States.

An evening at the Legion Theatre must have been a welcome break from the escalating tensions. And a full evening it was! Notice what else was included beyond the featured movie. Artie Shaw and his big band added a little swing to the evening. Then there was a short subject entitled “Culinary Carving”, some comedy, and the next exciting chapter of the serial “Daredevils of the Red Circle”.

Serials, stories told in brief episodes “to be continued next week…”, were a staple of movie theater presentations before television arrived. They were designed to keep an audience coming back for more.


The final page of our 1939 program shows what a vital hub of White Haven the Legion Theatre once was. Teel’s and Decker’s stores are both sadly long gone. Do you remember them? Write to us with your memories, we would love to hear from you:

The program above is in the private collection of Rick Markham, images reproduced by permission. How did such a fragile piece of paper survive for 74 years? Because it dates from a time when a night of theatre was an EVENT. Something to be remembered. This program was saved by a patron and survived the decades tucked away in their album of special memories.

In 2024, the Legion Theatre Group is reviving the tradition of a night of theatre being an event to remember! Come see our live stage play Now and Then, which debuts May 18th and 19th at the Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre. Maybe you will save our program from that evening in your own album of special memories? Perhaps someone, in the year 2097, will find that program. And ponder what it must have been like to have seen Now and Then performed by a live cast…a moment in time never to be duplicated.