Friday, Aug. 22, 2014
"Arabian Nights" - 1937Posted Friday, September 14, 2012, at 12:00 AM
These are some of the earliest photographs taken by G.D. Fronabarger.
On three cool, clear nights in mid-September 1937, Cape Girardeans thrilled to the tales of the "Arabian Nights."
Sponsored by the Southeast Missourian newspaper, three stories of the children's classic were staged under the stars in Houck Stadium. Residents from Cape and the surrounding towns crowded the grandstand of the football stadium to see over 500 Girardeans play the parts of Scheherazade, Schah-Riar, Schah-Zenan and so many others on a stage nearly 300 feet long.
The Missourian announced the show on Aug. 6: "'Arabian Nights,' the best known of all children's stories, and beloved as well by adults, will be presented in a great spectacle in the Houck Stadium the week of Sept. 14, by the Rogers Producing Company of Fostoria, Ohio..." It wasn't the first outdoor spectacle presented here, but the article promised, "It will be by far the largest and most expensive entertainment project ever attempted in Cape Girardeau." (from Sharon Sanders' blog, From the Morgue)
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Fred Lynch has captured images for the Southeast Missourian since 1975, in that time moving from black-and-white to color, from film to digital and to video. The blog title is a nod to an earlier era of news photography and the 4x5 Speed Graphic: It's more important to be there for the shot than to worry about technical details.