Over the Waves

Source: ‘Movies “Over the Waves” at Lumina, Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, N.C.’ in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill. Postmarked 22 July 1926.


Comments: The postcard shows a cinema screen positioned at Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, North Carolina, with seats along the shoreline for the audience. The screen was an extension of the Lumina Theatre entertainment centre. The message on the back of the postcard reads: “Well Beulah how are you. I am just fine only rather warm for it sure is hot here. Wish you could have been with us yesterday you would have had a time. We [went] to the Ocean. I was in bathing right by the post in the picture. Fondly, Violet.” The image is used as a key identifier for the exceptional Going to the Show website, which documents the experience of movies and moviegoing in North Carolina, from the introduction of projected motion pictures to the end of the silent film era.

Links: Going to the Show website
Information from Going to the Show on the Lumina
Postcard images of the Lumina Theatre

The Land of the Dollar

Source: G.W. Steevens, The Land of the Dollar (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company), p. 289

Text: The anxious crowd outside surged denser and more terrible in its ungovernable weight. Thousands stood craning their necks to the walls of the huge buildings before them, faintly outlined against the deep sky. Search-lights spun round the horizon, lighting up signal-kites floating aloft. On the screens appeared scenes shown by the cinematographe, which were received with alternate delight and derision. When the first returns were shown the crowd lost mastery of itself. The City Hall Park is cut up by public buildings, with parallelograms and triangles of grass. The crowd broke against the wire fences, swept them down, and surged over the sacred enclosures. It could not help it. The laws of space and force were the only things that had not taken a night off for the election.

Comment: George Warrington Steevens (1869-1900) was a British journalist, and The Land of the Dollar is his account of an assignment in America in the late 1890s. The scene he is describing is crowds waiting in New York for the results from the 1896 presidential election, won by the Republican William McKinley.

Links: Available from Hathi Trust