Ashland Library, May 10th
Ashland and Medford, Oregon (April 17, 2017) — "Let's go to the theater" has been heard throughout the Rogue Valley for nearly a century. Historian George Kramer gives the background of many of the local theater companies in the valley at the upcoming Windows in Time lecture, “The Show Started at the Sidewalk: The History of the Holly and Other Theaters,” May 3 at the Medford Branch Library, 205 South Central Avenue, andMay 10, at the Ashland Branch Library, 410 Siskiyou Boulevard, from 12 noon – 1:00 p.m. at both locations.
Motion picture palaces from Hollywood’s “Golden Age” were often architectural flights of fancy intended to transport ticket holders from Main Street to far off and exciting places, often long before the screen lit up. Building upon nickelodeons and the simple storefront “silent screen” of the pre-WWI era, by the late-1920’s and 1930’s “talkies” helped Americans escape the Great Depression, if only for a few hours. In southern Oregon movie theatres like the Varsity, the Rogue, the Craterian and most especially the Holly Theatre, dominated downtown, with huge neon signs and elaborate facades and interiors. In “The Show Started at the Sidewalk” restoration consultant George Kramer will explore the history of movie palaces in southern Oregon, talk about their builders and their design, and delve into the ongoing restoration of the Holly Theatre, the largest movie palace in our region when it opened in August 1930.
George Kramer earned a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Oregon. He has worked on numerous theatre restoration projects, including the Holly. An Ashland resident since 1982, George wrote the downtown historic district nominations for Ashland, Medford, and Grants Pass, as well as work in Talent, Phoenix, Jacksonville and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The monthly “Windows in Time” lunchtime lectures are offered free to the public on the first and second Wednesday throughout the year from 12 noon – 1:00 p.m. The talks are jointly sponsored by the Southern Oregon Historical Society and Jackson County Library Services. For more information, please call Jackson County Library Services at 541-774-6996 or visit jcls.org.