Welcome back. 1919 was a wonderful time in local American history and on July 24th you will have the opportunity to revisit that era in a real time machine with me. Yes, you will hear stories of the stars of silent movies, listen to the leading singers from the Metropolitan Opera and if you use your imagination maybe even see a baby elephant on stage performing with a dog and pony act. As you settle into your seat picture professional wrestling happening here every weekend with traveling variety shows taking up the other days of the week. I hope you will be excited to be here but as the lights in the theater go down, I’ll warn you that this place is now known to be haunted. Both workers and visitors have seen the ghost of the famous opera singer Enrique Caruso walking along the balcony accompanied by a woman wearing some sort of button-down dressing gown so prepare yourself for an unusual experience.
No, this show is not happening in Ponca City at the historic Poncan Theater which by the way is on the National Register of Historic Places. It isn’t at the very old Gregg Theater in Sedan which has been restored and returned to operations with the help of local businessman Roger Floyd. The Coleman Theater in Miami will also be a good guess as well with all of the celebrated performers who have appeared there but no friends this time machine is the Constantine Theater in Pawhuska. When I mentioned the Constantine in my column a few weeks ago I left you hanging so here’s the scoop:
On July 24th at 6:30PM a documentary film called The Last Ten Tapes will be shown at the Constantine. The film is based on the extensive interviews with key characters in the 1970 murder of prominent Osage County rancher E.C. Mullendore III which to this day remains the most famous unsolved mystery in the southwest. Stars in the film will be on hand to talk about the event and will take questions after the screening. I am also happy to report that thanks to the generosity of a Kansas oilman nurses will be admitted free. All the proceeds from ticket sales along with a portion of any book sales will be donated to the Coleman Theater and tickets are just five bucks so you won’t want to miss it!
Now for your unofficial update on the filming going on in Pawhuska. Last week the entire film crew and all of the actors returned to downtown and celebrities were everywhere including the legendary singer, TV and movie star Red Stegall. My contacts tell me that filming is roughly three quarters finished in Pawhuska and when they are done it will take about three weeks to put the town back together, removing all of the period building facades and awnings, taking down the telephone poles and getting rid of the dirt they put down on the streets. I have also been told that on top of the two hundred million dollars that has been spent on the actual production of the film, millions more will be spent marketing it bringing the total to three to four hundred million. Quite a big deal I’d say.
I hope to see ya on the 24th or till next time I’ll see ya down the road!