Iola Theater

[I’ll get back to World War I in a bit. War is hell and I need a break.]

You may not be an angel
Cause angels are so few
But until the day that one comes along
I’ll string along with you
I looking for an angel
To sing my love song to
And until the day that one comes along
I’ll sing my song to you
For every little fault that you have
Say I’ve got three or four…

“I’ll String Along with You” by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, 1934
iola-theater
Historic Iola Kelley Theater, Iola, Kansas

The man from Oz was leaving Kansas by way of highway 54, heading towards the Lake of the Ozarks for a much need rest, and, along the way was Iola and the Iola Theatre.

Oz got to thinking. Thoughts of his recent trip to Belgium and France and the battlefields of Flanders put aside for the moment.

Perfection doesn’t exist, Oz thinks. It is an ideal, not a reality. Michael Jordan was a good basketball player, but not perfect. Others have come along after him, and still more. Last year, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors had a good season, but not good enough. Still, the search for perfection goes on. But, life is a moving, breathing thing, constantly changing. So, achieving perfection is like achieving the speed of light. The closer one gets, the harder it gets to close the gap.

That said, until the day the perfect image of a 1930’s theater comes along, I’ll pick the Iola Theater. It’s got its faults, but so do I.

And what do we know about Iola?

theater-mask
Iola Theater, Grand Opening

It has a facebook page which you should check out. Their Facebook page touts this classic image of the Grand Opening.

The Kelley Theatre in Iola was appended to and located just south of the Hotel Kelley (demolished in 1972) off Iola’s main square. The theater got a facelift and on May 19, 1934, the grand opening featured “20 Million Sweathearts” starring Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers. Sadly, the Art Deco marquee is gone, replace one that doesn’t do the theater justice.

Keep in mind, 1934 was the heart of the Great Depression. Twenty two percent unemployment was the norm. Bing Crosby had a #1 hit song with “Buddy Can you Spare me a Dime.”

“20 Million Sweethearts” featured Dick and Ginger in a sweet duet singing the upbeat and still popular song “I’ll String Along with You”. And if you like Dick and Ginger, check out the Mills Brothers singing along with Dick in “Out for No Good.”

“Movies are for feeling good,” says Oz.

20-million-sweethearts-poster
20 Million Sweetheats poster
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