The Way We Were: Movie Night

Thursday, March 8, 2012
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movie film graphic

In 1916, President Fairchild arranged some free entertainment for the college in the form of moving pictures. He believed the movies would help provide "a step toward giving the students social opportunities for relaxation and improvement of the mind." The first showing was a series of five educational films selected to appeal to students of every department. The titles included "Birth of a Flower," "Glimpse of Yellowstone Park" and the "Life and Evolution of the Silk Worm." A large audience of faculty, students and townspeople attended.

The movies were shown in the gym (now New Hampshire Hall), and the engineering department was charged with providing and operating the moving picture machine. During the time it took for the engineers to change reels, members of the college orchestra kept the audience entertained with live music.

The second series was as well-attended as the first and consisted of four reels portraying Italian life and scenes. Although the films were described as instructive, the reporter for The New Hampshire, noted that, "The evident relish and abandon with which peasants in 'Picturesque Naples' consumed macaroni caused considerable amusement to the audience."