Carroll H. Rasch
From: Saint Louis Park, MN
Registered: Apr 2005
posted May 10, 2005 10:56 AM
This theater is in a small western town on the edge of the Bad Lands of North Dakota so loved by Theodore Roosevelt. The town is on the south edge of the Fort Berthold Reservation and the "home town" of my father who grew up on a ranch about 12 miles north northwest of the town. Halliday was a roaring town on saturday nights, the men in Martin's Bar and the women chatting in their cars...feeding the kids ice cream from Weisenberger's Store or Wassem's Hardware...The Christmas lights were kept up year round. Everyone was waiting for the mail train to arrive about 10:00 PM. The train whistle would cause a general migration of people toward the US Post Office. The Postmaster was already on the station platform to accept the mail bags... The movie at the Halliday Theater also ended in time for the crowd to move down the block... The mailbags were opened and sorted yet that night. Everyone would be eager to do the combination on the little brass mailboxes to see when sons and husbands would be coming home from Germany and Japan.
The Halliday Theater had rather nice, wooden seats mounted, not to the floor, but to long 2" x 10" planks so that the rows of seats could be slid to the sides of the theater, opening the floor for dancing. The blue grass band would assemble on the stage...in front of the screen and the picking, fiddling and dancing would begin. Although I know I saw more films there at an earlier date, I remember seeing Bob Hope's "Son of Paleface" and remember the sell-out and standing room crowd laughing very heartily.
There was a small projection booth high on the wall in the back with a very narrow stair leading up...
My parents' wedding dance was held there in the summer of 1939.
Films were shown there on weekends only during the years I can recall.
It is now used for storage. I have a feeling that the projection equipment is still in place. During a major family reunion in the 1970s, "The Great Gatsby" was shown and, I attended with a large cohort of cousins... I recall that films were screened on a very irregular schedule during its last twenty years.
[ May 11, 2005, 04:22 PM: Message edited by: Carroll H. Rasch ]
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