1 Item in This Collection
1) [Van Buren Movie Queen]
People on train platform wave to camera. Many are children. A sign in background advertises the Movie Queen. A parade on the main street is led by policemen and Boy Scouts carrying f...   more
Lapointe, Daniel Collection
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Margaret Cram
Credit: Daniel LaPointe Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Young men pose with the call for Van Buren, Maine, residents to see themselves on screen as part of "Movie Queen" film and community performance in 1936.
Credit: Excerpt from Daniel LaPointe Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Van Buren Movie Queen, 1936.
Primary Format and Extent
film (750 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm. print
Collection Date Range
The Daniel Lapointe Collection consists of a single 16 mm. film, "Movie Queen," made ca. 1936 as part of a local talent production. The film consists of shots of the town's businesses and people. The so-called movie queen is a local girl who visits business proprietors in and around Van Buren, obtaining goods and services such as a milkshake and automobile towing. Automobiles and automobile service are prominent in the footage. A hotel, a lumberyard with rail service carrying the finished lumber to market, and potato fields are also included. The Gayety Theatre is shown with emerging matinee customers. The film appears to be shot toward the end of the summer as there is footage of a fair with a sideshow, an entertainment likely to travel in the summer. This version of "Movie Queen" does not have the comedic kidnapping component that is present in many other surviving versions.
Biographical/Historical Notes
Van Buren is a town in northern Maine on the Canadian border. The population in the 1930s was approximately 4,000, then as now with many French-surnamed families. The film in this collection is presumed to have been made by Margaret Cram, one of several young women who traveled for the Amateur Theatre Guild of Boston directing live variety shows featuring local talent. In the days preceding the stage show, Guild representatives would make a short film, entitled "Movie Queen," featuring townspeople and local businesses. A promotional campaign urging townspeople to "See Yourself" in the film helped drum up business for the variety show, at which the film would be shown. The production may have been sponsored by the Boy Scouts of Van Buren. The print was originally the property of Lawrence Bouchard. It was shown at the Gayety Theatre in Van Buren, which opened in 1924 and seated 630 people. Daniel Lapointe of Van Buren acquired the film from William F. Cyr, president of the Van Buren Rotary Club. A script of "Movie Queen" by Lauren K. Woods and associated production documents from the Amateur Theatre Guild may be found in the Marion Angeline Howlett Papers, Harvard Theatre Collection, Harvard University. See also "Movie Queen" films in these collections: Movie Queen, Bar Harbor Collection (Bar Harbor, Maine), Bath Historical Society Collection (Bath, Maine), Belfast Historical Society Collection (Belfast, Maine), John Bruner Collection (Groton, Mass.), Lincoln Memorial Library Collection (Lincoln, Maine), Movie Queen, Lubec Collection (Lubec, Maine), Newport Historical Society Collection, (Newport, Maine), Norwood Historical Society Collection (Norwood, Mass.), Sheldon Museum Collection (Middlebury, Vermont).
People and Organizations
Gayety Theatre
Northeast Historic Film
The Collection is open for research.
Condition Governing Reproduction and Use
Authorization to reuse and/or reproduce must be obtained from Northeast Historic Film. See http://www.oldfilm.org/research for more information.
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