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Winter 2009

Marshall County

Astro Theatre outside at night
Photo by Tom Parker

Back from the brink: Marysville’s Astro 3 Theatre gets new lease on life

By Tom Parker
That’s theatre with the r before the e. British style, but also with something of a track record preferred by many long-standing Broadway theaters. It might smack of pretentiousness but, in the case of Marysville’s only indoor movie theater (and Marshall County’s only movie house, period), more a nod to the historical record. Americans once elevated these things to a higher platform, held them to a deeper estimation, and the language had to conform. A distinction had to be made. You weren’t spending your hard-earned money on a two-hour movie, you were going to the theatre. And it wasn’t just theaters or theatres, it crossed over into other factors. How many flea-ridden, substandard motels littering the nation’s backroads were named after the Sands, the Stardust, the Sahara? Adding glitz to a name fooled no one, but a little glitz went a long way.

Douglas County

Inside window

Liberty Hall: A Cherished Piece of Lawrence Kansas History

By Barbara Higgins-Dover

Lighting and Technical Manager Rob Fitzgerald continuously works to prepare for the next function scheduled at Liberty Hall at 644 Massachusetts in Lawrence.  His efforts assist in bringing, film, live performance, and social gatherings to the historic theater. Fitzgerald acknowledges and shares the community’s appreciation for the building and understands it to be a cherished piece of Lawrence history. Just as it has always been, visitors enjoy the theater’s beauty while utilizing the space for a variety of functions as Fitzgerald acknowledges. “People have always rented the theater from the time of Bowersock on for dances, weddings and parties.”

Greeley County

Tribune's Star

By Michele Boy

Mention the Tribune Star Theatre to Greeley County resident Don B. Smith, and you will get a warm smile.  “I went to my first show in the seventh grade.  I took my wife there on a date, got married, and took my children there.  They now take their grandchildren to the show there as well. ”

The Tribune Star Theatre is nestled cozily on Broadway Avenue, the main street of Tribune, a small town just east of the Kansas - Colorado border.   Most of Greeley County's vast 778 square miles is largely devoted to agriculture.  Tribune and Horace, the county's two towns are situated within three miles of each other.  Tribune, the county seat, has a population of 765 persons. Horace, just 150.

Hamilton County

Northrup Theatre Offers Door to a Lost Time

By Michele Boy

Walk inside the Northrup Theatre in Syracuse and you step back in time. Inside the wooden framed glass doors is a world of dreams and fantasies.  A small red and blue neon light hangs from the center of the lobby.  Concessions are located along the south wall. 

Stroll through the red curtains that separate the lobby from the auditorium, and instantly, you are surrounded by an eclectic form of stylish modernism known today as the Art Deco movement of the 1920s and 30s.  The stepped forms and sweeping curves along the walls of the theater show off the mathematic geometrical shapes consistent with a structure from that period.

McPherson County

Sundries inside Photo by Lisa Quested

City Sundries: A Small Town Tradition

By Lisa Quested

City Sundries, Marquette, is one of only 38 remaining operating soda fountains in drug stores across the state. More than 100 years ago, most towns in Kansas could boast to having at least one. They came in all shapes and amenities with back bars, mirrors, brass rails, and marble counters, but all offered a place for fun and memories. Out of those still operating, a few boast those original trademark marble counter tops. And, as “progress” seems to do in some cases, these wonderful, smooth, cool rock creations were replaced with plastic, starting in the 1950s.

Washington County

Old Enough to Know Better
At 89, Anderson not ready to slow down

Francis "Toby" AndersonBy Tom Parker

It’s a sunny winter afternoon and the temperature has risen to a few degrees above freezing. Besides the obvious relief it brings to people weary of arctic conditions, the temperature, as well as the radiant heat from the sun, brings several changes not only to the backroads of Washington County but to the snowpack as well.

“The ground isn’t frozen yet,” says Francis “Toby” Anderson. “Under that snow, it’s soft and wet. The snow’s harder, too. It’s started to freeze and it’s got a crust on it.”

We’re somewhere south and west of Washington, the road before us piled deeply on each side by drifts that have been hammered open. The road is still barely passable between the snowbanks, and strangely out of place on the Kansas prairies. It’s something you’d expect high in the Rockies where the roads are lined by 15-foot poles used to delineate the path of the road and the depth of the snow.

Inside the cab of the John Deere grader it’s cozy and warm. Looking out the front window at the road is like sighting down the barrel of a rifle, with the vast sweeping arms of the V-plow deeply notched like a front sight. Within the notch, the road rising and falling ever southward until it disappears over a wooded ridge.

Anderson points down the road.

“See that drift down there?” he asks.

Stafford County

Inspecting teh treesPhotos by Katie Morford

Christmas Trees in St. John: What we just celebrated

By Katie Morford

The Delp Christmas Tree Farm in rural St. John, run by Tony and Linda Delp, is a family-owned and operated business that employs area residents as summer and seasonal help and has provided Christmas trees, wreaths and other decorations for the past 40 years.

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Last Updated January 21, 2010
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