The History of Motion Picture theaters in River Falls (continued)

Admission prices started at 10 and 25 cents (with inflation this would be about $3.25 today). A simple display sign was put up alongside the theater in September 1927. The town was not big enough for two theaters and the Princess Theater soon closed on September 23, 1927, the last movie being The Big Parade, a 13 reel MGM war movie. Vaudville and other stage acts would be previlent in the theater for the first few years unti l the talkies were installed in July 1930. With new vitaphone equipment installed there also was a new manger in Reinhart "Ozzie or Red" Lattch.

Movies switched three times a week. For example on their original runs Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was shown April 30 - May 1, 1938 on a weekend, and The Wizard of Oz shown from September 24 - 26, 1939 a Sunday through Tuesday and Casablanca was shown on May 10 and 11, 1943 a Monday and Tuesday only! The special engagement movie Gone with the Wind came on May 16 - 17, 1940 only with a special
admission price of $1.10 , to packed crowds. Movies were always accompained by a cartoon, serial and/or news reel. An attractive neon lighted sign was added to the front of the theater in July 1936. During this time refreshments were not available in the theater and popcorn was purchased from a consession stand across the street from Cliff Smith.

At the end of World War II, management again changed to Archie Z. McClellan. He installed new projection lamps. Archie would film local events and parades and show them before the Movie called Falls Theater Presents. Some ofthese movies are preserved on a tape called Old Movies of River Falls, available at the Public Library. In May 1952 , the theater was sold from the to Jan and Agnes Morey of Minneapolis. As television grew commonplace theaters became testing grounds for new technology. In May 1954 , George Jonakowski installed Cinemescope screen and a projector that could show 3-D movies. Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3-D was the first movie to be shown all week. In a time air conditioning was not common at home, the theater installed its first system in July 1955. Soon after, that November Herbert Stolzman of Minot, North Dakota took over the theater for a run of 17 years. Stolzman would add a "modem" front to the theater in 1965, redoing the entire front, adding a drink machine and losing the Falls Theater neon sign . In 1972 after 34 years in the Movie Business, Herb Stolzman sold the
theater to Stan McCulloch of Minneapolis, bringing in a new era to the Falls Theater .

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