Generations today are separated by a variety of everyday cultural representations. Two are movies and television. A look back at a 1957 daily newspaper in Fargo reflects some of these differences in the county – if not the world.
The newspaper featured a page of cultural entertainment, touting the films appearing in theatres of various sizes, all with their lighted marquees facing the street.
Playing at the Fargo (air conditioned) Theatre was the last night of Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas in Gunfight at the OK Corral. The next evening would premiere Rock Hudson and Dayna Winter in Something of Value. The Princess Theatre offered two cartoons and two features, with Joan Crawford in Autumn Leaves, and Frankie Laine in He Laughed Last. Barely heard of today, a double feature at a theatre was a hallmark of the 1950s.
At the Grand Theatre was James Mason in Island in the Sun.
The Roxy Theatre showed (with no seeming connection) both a western: A Day of Fury with Dale Robertson, and the thriller, Gorilla at Large, with Cameron Mitchell and Anne Bancroft.
The Towne Theatre had a double feature with Hot Rod Rumble (“Revved up youth in souped-up cars“), plus Calypso Joe, starring Herb Jeffries -- “the Typhoon from Trinidad with all the great bongo stars!”
The Moorhead Theatre was offering The Bachelor Party starring Don Murray with Patricia Smith. Tickets were 80 cents for adults, juniors for 60 cents, and children a quarter.
Of those downtown movie houses, only the Fargo remains today.
Television favorites that year included popular comedy icon I Love Lucy; Raymond Burr as Perry Mason in the long-running courtroom drama; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Leave it to Beaver; Ozzie and Harriet, a long running family comedy that introduced Ricky Nelson as a singer; and another family comedy, The Real McCoy’s featuring Walter Brennan and Richard Crenna.
Westerns were a popular attraction, including Gunsmoke, Maverick, Wyatt Earp, and the Lone Ranger among many others in America’s mostly fictional West.
Just a few of the movies and TV you could see in June of 1957.
Dakota Datebook by Steve Stark
Source: June 26, 1957 Fargo Forum & Daily Republican