Saturday, January 23, 2010

Garberville Theatre

My friend Chris Brannan stopped by my office the other day. He was understandably proud of the new website for the Garberville Theatre. A man by the name of Ed Truthan developed the website. We have many great website designers in our area, but this post happens to be about the Garberville Theatre, so I will give credit where credit is due. I was very impressed with the user friendliness of the site. I wish all web sites were as user friendly. Ed has “air-brushed” the images to the point that you feel like you are entering fantasy-land, which is exactly what you are doing when you enter the Garberville Theatre.

As you know, theaters are struggling with the new competition of DVD's that are so readily available. Some of the theaters in Eureka are closing, as indeed most of the classic old movie-house theaters across the United States are closed, and bulldozed to make room for shopping malls or retail stores. We are indeed lucky to have retained some of the slower pace that the good old days had here in Garberville. One of the great things about our slower pace is the movie theater is still open, it is still a classic theater. You can take a trip down memory lane, if you want to, and still enjoy a first-run modern movie.

When I was a kid I used to go the the Saturday Matinee. First, my cousin Jim Newland and I would walk down the street and bang on the side of the parking meters until enough coin would shake back out the coin-slot to buy our way in. On lucky days we would get enough coin to buy a root beer and some of the sweet little chocolate covered mints. Then, I would get a big bag of popcorn. Just as the lights were dimming, Jim and I would get a seat. The movie always started with a cartoon. “The Roadrunner” was our favorite. I liked to mix my popcorn with the mints. Were else can you find such a delightful flavor?

Who was it that said: “You can never go home again”. Who ever in was doesn't live in Garberville. The theater is still here, They still have a snack bar, and plenty of seats. Enjoy!

Oh! The parking meter coin slot thing was a closely guarded secret! If it had ever gotten out that that's how we went to the Saturday Matinee, every kid in town would have been doing it. I wish that I had a movie of us “being secret” while we were harvesting our “coin trees.”

Brigette Brannan owns and runs the theater and Chris does what he can to keep her happy there. They are doing a great job and preseving a valuable asset for Garberville.
The link below will open on the history section of the Website. Hey, this is my blog, and I'll start with the end if I want! I spent about an hour looking at the site, and I haven't finished finding things on it yet. Click below (you will see where) and enjoy the Garberville Theatre. Or, type in your own URL. Most misspellings of theater will work. You can almost smell the hot buttered Popcorn!

North Coast Graphics is owned and operated by web designer and graphic artist Ed Truthan from his studio in the Southern Humboldt County hamlet of Garberville, California. As a member of the Garberville Chamber of Commerce we are proud to play an active role in this vibrant community.

For more information contact:
Ed Truthan at (707) 932-1135
or email:


Anonymous said...

I saw my first moving picture show in the Garberville Theatre.
In the photo showing on the marquee "Joan Of Arc" I couldn't help notice all the wires going to the phone office.


kymk said...

That is a beautiful website. I bookmarked it right away.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yep Oregon, those were all “Local” wires for in town phone service. They were cotton covered rubber twisted pair called “VIR”. That stood for “Vucanized India Rubber:”

The basement of the Benbow Inn still has large bundles of VIR coming out of the old raceways from the central airshaft.

I guess that I'll have to do a post about the telephone company someday.

Dave said...

Thanks for this great link to the Garberville Theater!

I've been interested in the history of Humboldt County since the mid 1970s while attending HSU.

I met Susan Akselsen in 1988 while I was the publisher of The Redwood Record, The Arcata Union, and the Triplicate in Crescent City.

I have to admit that I didn't know she was trying to lease the business out at that time. No surprise. My association with The Redwood Record was a mere year and a half. I had to split up my week between three publications and only got down to Garberville once a week on average.

Ernie:I liked reading your childhood observations about how to get some change now and then.
I use to match nickels - odd, or even. The right caller wins.

Anonymous said...

If you ever do a post on the Garberville phone company try to get some information about Herb Mason's dad and all the wire he streched through Round Valley and the mountain ranches. He cut set his own poles and pulled the wire by himself.


Anonymous said...

Which is the correct spelling of Brannon/Brannan? The Redway Elementary School principal in '65 was Paul Brannan. I wonder if it's the same family.

Ernie Branscomb said...

The name is spelled Brannan. Thanks for the heads up, I see that I had it spelled wrong in one place.

Chris is Paul Brannan’s son. His Mother was Irene Stevenson (sp?) Who was a long time (and very popular) Redway Elementary school teacher. Does anyone remember Irene’s Circus?


i can remember one of the local advertisements on the screen.



i think thats correct??
or was it TED TUCKER CHEVROLET?now i'm getting mixed up!!!!!

OREGON,guess i saw my first show there also. but i was a baby with my mom.there was a glass closed in section in the rear. people with babies sat there,so not to disturb the others.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Tucker Real Estate and Insurance company.
"we sell dirt, and pay cash for ashes"

Poll Parrot shoes:(As sung by Paul Parrot)
"Poll Parrot, Paul Parrot,
are the shoes you are to buy.
They make your feet run faster
as fast as I can fly."

...And now for the Movie Tone News...

...and now for some coming attractions...

Ben said...

I have to put in a pitch for the period Susan Akselsen owned the theatre. As I recall, she was a film student in college and very knowledgeable. She and Lorrie Henning created a remarkable combination of first run and art film that made some of us newcomers very, very happy. In those days I went to the theatre at least once a week. We could not believe our good fortune and we were starved for entertainment. I have never thanked Susan for those wonderful times and the website barely mentions her remarkable ability to show us great movies. Thanks, Susan.

Ed Truthan said...

Thanks for the kind words Ernie, and for passing along the URL to folks. The site was just submitted to the major search engines just 48 hours ago, so hasn't shown up yet, but links help insure the web crawlers find thanks again.

And Ben...glad you mentioned the info about Susan and Lorrie. While researching for the theatre history, I was unable to contact her before launching the site and so had to temporarily "wing it" for the era in which she owned it. Always intendended to add more as soon as I got more information. I now have her contact number but it's been in "fax" mode for days (will try faxing her in the morning). Sounds like she and Lorrie were very progressive in the films they brought to the community. I want to get her take on what she'd like to say about her sojourn as owner and then of course fill out her section of the history page accordingly, etc.

Anyway thanks again fellas...Ed

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ed, you are welcome. As you might guess. I have many many stories about the Garberville Theatre, and I'm very sure that others do too. I hope that they will post them here. A lot of us grew up there. Who knows, there might be some good tales out there?

I'll go first...
I have a story about Coca-Cola Earl that I'll post.

Robin Shelley said...

I see the Website Guy refers to Garberville as a "hamlet" - & this is probably one of those things that is open to interpretation - but I thought a hamlet is a town without a church. When it gets a church, it becomes a village. Anybody?

Ernie Branscomb said...

We tried to be a village, but we got tired of raising kids for Hillary, so we went back to being a hamlet...