Remembering the Magic theater

February 29, 2016
Mildred Higgins

Mildred Higgins

News of a Barbourville landmark, the old Magic Theater, getting new life with community volunteers warmed my heart when I read the email from a friend.Going way back to childhood, the best memories are going to the Saturday double-feature matinee with my younger brothers. Our mom managed to treat us with 15 cents apiece, and head us down the lane hand in hand to walk quite a distance to the theater downtown.


The theater was filled with rowdy children in anticipation of the feature; however, as soon as the lights dimmed, the audience quieted down and settled into their seats. The curtains opened, the screen lights up with the previews of upcoming features, world news of the day, then the feature we came to see.

My brother’s favorite action stars were Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. The boys’ love of cowboys led them to beg for all the cowboys’ trappings.  No cowboy would be real without hat, boots, belt, vest, holster and guns.

Mom lost many brooms to my brothers, pretending to ride them as galloping steeds, always named Trigger or Champion, chasing imaginary villains, bringing them to justice, just as they saw in the movies.I was star struck by Shirley Temple and later Doris Day and Gordon MacRae musicals.

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