The Theatre District, 1961

Looking down George St. from Charlotte, 1961. Trent Valley Archives.


In small towns all over, including Peterborough, as a writer observed as early as 1907, the array of motion picture theatres was a “boon” to local businesses, transforming an otherwise commonplace downtown street “into a bright, gay avenue, where the residents flock nightly ‘to see what is new.’” 

I almost feel like I should be there in this photo, lazily crossing George Street at Charlotte on my way to a Saturday afternoon movie. In 1961. I was sixteen or seventeen years old and going to the Capitol, Odeon, and Paramount on a regular, if not weekly, basis. Out of sight, just to the right on the corner of George and Charlotte, was Woolworth’s, where I bought my first LP, Elvis’ Golden Records (1958).

Robert Clarke