| This year area communities will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Historic
Collectors’ Series Calendar. The open house reception will look and feel different from past years due to the calendar theme.
| It seems that almost everyone has some recollection in their childhood memories of the first
movie theatre they attended, and can probably tell you the name of the first film they saw. For some it may have been
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Lassie Come Home. For others it may have been Mary Poppins
with a Road Runner cartoon.
This year’s historic calendar spotlights the local movie houses from the earliest days to 1960, including
local people who owned or operated them, plus those from the area that made it in Hollywood as writers, directors, producers
and actors — there were several.
The rise of the motion picture industry began to take shape in the late 1800s, as science and technology
merged with art and entertainment forms. In the earliest years of film exhibition, motion pictures seemed largely an urban
phenomenon. The first public showing of a motion picture to a paying audience in America occurred at Koster & Bial’s Music
Hall in New York City on April 23, 1896. The ease by which film could be duplicated and projected, and the eagerness of
audiences to be entertained, helped spread movie going across the western landscape like wildfire. As motion pictures went
from a novelty form to a popular amusement in large cities, smaller towns across the nation began opening nickelodeons in
storefront buildings. Trinidad was not far behind the times. By 1907, there were more than 3,000 nickelodeons and a few
of them could be found in Trinidad, Raton, and Walsenburg.
This 20th annual historic calendar will be distributed to the public at an open house reception on Friday,
December 2, 2005 from 9am-3pm at the main bank in Trinidad. As in past years, the Huerfano County Branch Bank in Walsenburg
and the First National Loan Production Office in Raton will hold their own separate open houses on that day. Attending the
event and signing calendars in Walsenburg will be Frank Piazza (past owner of the Fox Theatre) and George Birrer (present
owner of the Fox Theatre). In Raton, hometown personality, Paul “Popsicle” Pospesil, will be signing calendars. He spent
many years in Palm Springs, California photographing Hollywood movie personalities. At the main bank in Trinidad former
child movie and television actor, Lonnie Thomas, will be signing the calendars along with the author, Ken Fletcher. Although
not originally from our area, Lonnie has been a resident of Trinidad for many years. Some of his film credits include acting
with Shirley Temple and Clifton Webb in Mr. Belvedere Goes To College. One of his favorite roles was playing “Yo-Yo”, the
son of Dale Robertson in Return of the Texan, also starring Joanne Dru and Walter Brennan.
The 2006 calendar will be distributed as a gift to the communities on December 2, 2005, and all area residents
are encouraged to attend the festivities at one of the bank’s locations — Hollywood style!