Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Picture Show

Today islanders must take the ferry, and drive for more than an hour, in order to visit a movie theater. This wasn't always the case. Late last month I published a blog post about Stanley Wahab in which I mentioned the movie theater in the old Wahab Village hotel. This is what Carl Goerch wrote in his 1956 book, Ocracoke:

"The moving picture theatre, which occupies the southern wing of the Wahab Village Hotel, isn't making anyone rich. Shows are run on Tuesday and Saturday nights. Admission is 40 cents for adults, 25 cents for children. Seating capacity is around 250. There's nothing fancy about interior decorations.

"The film costs $16.50. Then there's the cost of postage, wages for a machine operator, lights and power, etc. [C.F.] Boyette [the manager of the hotel] figures that the total cost involved in producing one show is $30.

"Now then, let's see. Take 40 adults at 40 cents ($16.00) and 60 children at 25 cents ($15.00) and you have only $31.00 in revenue. That's about the average attendance."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is Allie (Teenie) Scott's 1968 story of Simon Garrish, Jr. and the US Life-Saving horse, Sambo. You can read it by clicking here: www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042116.htm.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Philip, you bring back great memories of going to the movies on Ocracoke on hot summer nights. The windows were open to catch any breeze that passed by, but there were no screens. This meant lots of mosquitoes. The solution to both the heat and the mosquitoes was to use one of those old-time paddle-shaped fans, cardboard on a wooden handle, advertising some funeral home on the mainland. That was nightlife on Ocracoke. Bobby Rondthaler