Movietime USA, Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, October 10, 1951

  • Movietime USA, Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, October 10, 1951
  • "Attendance at movie theaters hit an all-time low in 1951 as people stayed home to watch television. At the urging of theater owners across the country, the movie industry embarked on a public relations campaign to bring people back into the theaters. Using the 50th anniversary of motion pictures as its theme, 240 actors, writers, directors and casting directors were divided into small groups and set out from Hollywood to 28 major cities and their surrounding cities and towns on a tour called Movietime USA. One group arrived in Boston and traveled throughout Greater Boston in a '15-car convoy of new DeSotos. The team, comprised of director Alfred Hitchcock; actors Dorothy Lamour, 18-year-old Debra Paget, Margaret Sheridan and Tom Breen; writer Welles Root; and MGM casting director Billy Grady arrived at Wakefield High School on Main Street. From there, 'the stars formed behind the high school band and drove to the Library where a crowd of 2,500 people were gathered to see their favorite screen personalities'. Greeting them on the steps of the library were Selectman Paul Lazzaro, (who presented Lamour with a bouquet of fall flowers), Herbert K. Noble and Raymond Dower; Town Clerk Charles F. Young; and Helen Carlson of the library staff. Hitchcock presented Miss Carlson and the library with a signed copy of the book, The Thirty-Nine Steps, from which his 1935 hit movie was made. Mistress of ceremonies Lamour introduced the team at the start of the 15-minute ceremony, noting that Wakefield's stop was the best and largest of the tour. Many in the crowd were high school students who were dismissed for an hour to see the celebrities. Newspaper reports noted that the 'high schoolers nearly prevented the departure of Miss Paget as hundreds of boys and girls closed about her car seeking a closer look'".
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2014
  • Photo courtesy of Al Romano
  • 10-10-1951
  • Wakefield, Mass. : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Movietime USA, Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, October 10, 1951,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed April 21, 2021,


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