BIG TIME FOR A DIME
A HISTORY OF THE SILVER SCREENS
IN THE CATAWBA VALLEY
THE BALCONY IS OPEN. TAKE A TRIP BACK TO YESTERYEAR. HEREIN ARE YOUR
FAVORITE THEATERS AND THE STARS OF HOLLYWOOD. FROM GARBO TO GABLE,
BOGART AND BACALL, FROM TWIN-OAKS TO DEADWOOD, FROM BROADWAY TO THE
COWBOY WAY. ITS ALL HERE! LETS GO TO THE MOVIES!
BIG TIME FOR A DIME
A CINEMATIC CHRONICLE OF THE BIG SCREEN
by Donald Barker
Contact the author for sales info.
A TRIBUTE TO A WONDERFUL LADY
Lacy Starnes (1911-2009)
On starry Saturday and Sunday nights, hundreds of young boys and girls gathered along the sidewalks leading to the brightly lighted marquee of the Carolina Theater. Romance was in the air. A ritual was being performed by a past generation of people. After all, it most likely took perhaps a week to prepare for this nightly outing and it would have more meaning than one could imagine. Taking your favorite girl or a 'first date' to the movies was the style of the fifties and sixties.
But today, June 22nd, 2009, the marquee at the Carolina Theater is much dimmer. It has lost a family member. Lacy Pauline Starnes. For this petite young lady, her love for people was her most enduring quality. Her bright smile would be first to greet you.
Bom in 1911, she was a 1928 graduate of Claremont High School, (Hickory High). After graduation John Miller hired her to work at his movie-houses in Hickory. Her employment history at local theaters goes back to the Grand theatre, the Rivoli, the Park and the Carolina.
She was the little lady that graced the outside "box-office" of these theaters for 64 years. She would be the first to greet the moviegoer. Lacy was the cornerstone of the Carolina. Her attention to numbers, her graciousness to the public, attention to detail and perfect attendance, all added up to "the best employee I ever had", stated the late Kenneth Benfield, owner of the Colonial Theater Group. Lacy knew the younger kiddie show crowd by names and more often, even knew their parents. Ms. Starnes set the protocol for staff duties for all the Colonial theaters. For a time she worked with theater manager Al Jones, who took her on her first airplane ride over Hickory. Patsy Robinson Bumgamer, of Hickory, recalls working at the box-office, as relief cashier for "Miss Lacy "for dinner break" I will never forget her," she said.
In a recent interview, Lacy related, "I remember when on special Saturdays, kids would dress up in their cowboy outfits and attend the matinee and stay all afternoon. They looked so nice, and I loved them all"
Perhaps most importantly, is that we remember her too and simply say, "thanks Lacy". We loved you too.
by Don Barker
Derick S. Hartshorn - ©2009