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Early theaters III

During the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, the Pulaski Theater on Main Street entertained large audiences with top flight movies and stage shows. Local shows were performed by “Doc”­­ Harman or Paul Crabtree, or both, who furnished fine, almost professional entertainment by people who lived in the community.
Crabtree went on to establish a large theater the likes of the Barter, in Crossville, Tenn. In the World War II years, the Pulaski area was not lacking when it came to entertainers. During the war, the Pulaski Theater was instrumental in promoting civil defense, war bond sales and anything backing the war effort.
Economic conditions brought about the closing of the theater in the 1970s, and it remained silent until a revival of interest of old houses of entertainment in the final decade of the twentieth century.
A movement to awaken interest in bringing back this treasure was an organization known as “Friends of the Pulaski Theater” Under the groups leadership, the property was obtained, money raised through several community projects and local laborers pitched in to renovate the building.
In 2005, Jennifer White, director of the Friends made the following statement. “It is exciting because I think it’s really going to bring life back into downtown Pulaski.
The future of the Pulaski Theater speaks of a multi-functional community space, wired for video concerts, dance recitals, lectures, book reviews, and sporting events. Our plan is to have it open all we can, because that is what it will take to keep it going.”
This plan is being carried out, as witnessed by the many functions that it has brought on in the little while it has been in use.
I am sure there are many people in Pulaski today, who like me spent hours in the Pulaski Theater during the war years of the early 1940s. I was right there when Clark Gable spoke those oft quoted words of comfort to his broken-hearted Scarlet.
“I just don’t care what happens to you,” Or something like that. And many a man who grew sick of jealously when Gary Cooper planted that first kiss on the lips of pretty Joann Leslie, in the movie Sergeant York.
And many lifetime unions had their beginnings in the balcony of the old Pulaski Theater.
Next week I will discuss the other theater where we spent many hours, watching the cowboys ride.

-Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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Early theaters III

During the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, the Pulaski Theater on Main Street entertained large audiences with top flight movies and stage shows. Local shows were performed by “Doc”­­ Harman or Paul Crabtree, or both, who furnished fine, almost professional entertainment by people who lived in the community.
Crabtree went on to establish a large theater the likes of the Barter, in Crossville, Tenn. In the World War II years, the Pulaski area was not lacking when it came to entertainers. During the war, the Pulaski Theater was instrumental in promoting civil defense, war bond sales and anything backing the war effort.
Economic conditions brought about the closing of the theater in the 1970s, and it remained silent until a revival of interest of old houses of entertainment in the final decade of the twentieth century.
A movement to awaken interest in bringing back this treasure was an organization known as “Friends of the Pulaski Theater” Under the groups leadership, the property was obtained, money raised through several community projects and local laborers pitched in to renovate the building.
In 2005, Jennifer White, director of the Friends made the following statement. “It is exciting because I think it’s really going to bring life back into downtown Pulaski.
The future of the Pulaski Theater speaks of a multi-functional community space, wired for video concerts, dance recitals, lectures, book reviews, and sporting events. Our plan is to have it open all we can, because that is what it will take to keep it going.”
This plan is being carried out, as witnessed by the many functions that it has brought on in the little while it has been in use.
I am sure there are many people in Pulaski today, who like me spent hours in the Pulaski Theater during the war years of the early 1940s. I was right there when Clark Gable spoke those oft quoted words of comfort to his broken-hearted Scarlet.
“I just don’t care what happens to you,” Or something like that. And many a man who grew sick of jealously when Gary Cooper planted that first kiss on the lips of pretty Joann Leslie, in the movie Sergeant York.
And many lifetime unions had their beginnings in the balcony of the old Pulaski Theater.
Next week I will discuss the other theater where we spent many hours, watching the cowboys ride.

-Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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