Most of us have fond memories of the first time we went to a movie. Russ Gourluck has mined some of those memories for his latest book, "Silver Screens on the Prairie: An Illustrated History of Motion Picture Theatres in Manitoba."
Gourluck will be in Brandon on Dec. 8 to read from the book and autograph copies. The book signing runs from 2-5 p.m. at the Daly House Museum and is the second book signing in a series sponsored by the museum. This time the signing is in co-operation with the Strand Theatre project.
Brandon’s first movies were projected on a blanket in the City Hall in 1903. When the Oak Theatre opened in 1931, potatoes could be traded for tickets to Saturday matinees. The Lucky Star Drive-In was moved along the highway to Brandon from Souris. These are just a few of hundreds of facts and anecdotes in Gourluck’s new book.
Drawing on the memories of more than 150 owners, staff members and theatre-goers, Silver Screens includes more than 500 images and dozens of first-person accounts that relive the enchantment of "going to the show" from the early days of motion pictures until the present time.
The book features more than 300 movie theatres from across the province and pays tribute to the important roles they played in their communities.
"Silver Screens on the Prairie" is both an historical chronicle and an entertaining account of Manitoba movie theatres.
Some of the western Manitoba communities whose theatres are included are Boissevain, Camp Hughes, Carberry, Deloraine, Elkhorn, Gladstone, Killarney, MacGregor, Melita, Minnedosa, Neepawa, Reston, Rivers, Russell, Swan River, Virden and the famed log-construction Park Theatre in Wasagaming.
Described as a "master storyteller" and "one of our most successful popular historians," Gourluck is a retired school principal who is pursuing a lifelong interest in writing.
His first four books, "A Store Like No Other: Eaton’s of Winnipeg" (2004), "Going Downtown: A History of Winnipeg’s Portage Avenue" (2006), "Picturing Manitoba: Legacies of The Winnipeg Tribune" (2008) and "The Mosaic Village: An Illustrated History of Winnipeg’s North End" (2010) were bestsellers.
Gourluck will be happy to answer your questions at the book signing, which begins at the Daly House Museum, 122 18th St., Brandon, on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m., with readings at 3 p.m.
Contact the museum at 204-727-1722 for more information.