Society Dinner Meetings
2019 Dinner Meeting Schedule: 6:15 PM
Friday, March 15
Friday, May 17
Friday, September 20
Friday, November 15*
*(sometimes moved to accommodate church functions!) The 2019 meeting has been moved to November 8.
The Society holds four dinner meetings each year on the third Fridays of March, May, September, and November where a program of historical interest is included. Programs are held at 6:15 PM at the Suncrest (Drummond) United Methodist Church on Van Voorhis Road in Morgantown; ample parking is available.
The public and guests are welcome; bring a friend or colleague. Those wishing to join the Society may do so at or after the meeting. The cost of the dinner is $10.00. Persons wishing to only attend the free program, that follows the dinner, are welcome to arrive about 7 PM.
Dinner reservations are required, and may be made by calling Janet DeVault at 304-599-5261. Please do not call after 9 PM.
Reservations should be made no later than the Tuesday before the meeting. Payment for dinners can be made at the meeting.
The Society must guarantee paying for reservations made, so attendance of those making reservations is greatly appreciated.
Program for the November 8, 2019 Dinner Meeting
Historic Movie Theatres of West Virginia
By Kelli Shapiro, PhD, and the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia
Over the course of the 20th century, West Virginia contained an impressive diversity of movie theatres—ranging from multipurpose auditoriums in company towns to early nickelodeons and from ornate, urban picture palaces to neighborhood movie houses and suburban drive-ins. In the state's working-class areas, as well as in upscale districts where industry barons lived, residents came together to find amusement and relaxation in these invaluable venues. Many of these theatres have since disappeared from the landscape, while others sit vacant or have been converted for other uses. Some, however, have been reopened or restored. They proudly provide their communities with entertainment today, whether showing films or hosting the performing arts. They serve as catalysts for local revitalization and as success stories showcasing the value of historic preservation.
Kelli Shapiro, PhD, is the program associate for the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, the statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation in the Mountain State. One of its programs is the West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail, a heritage tourism initiative promoting the rehabilitation and sustainable operation of the state's historic theatres for the enjoyment of the public. Her book, “Historic Movie Theatres of West Virginia,” contains images from a wide array of museums, archives, and collections.