Brinton discussion schedule changes
Seminars by local historian Mike Zahs on the history of the Graham Opera House and the Brintons — “Washington’s Most Entertaining Couple” — have been rescheduled from the original schedule published and will be given in the State Theatre at 8:30 p.m. Monday and 4:15 p.m. Saturday, June 7.
Main Street Washington director Sarah Sadrakula said that the event is being done to honor the State Theatre (formerly the Graham Opera House) renovations being done. The event will include the showing of several silent movies that were formerly owned by the Brinton family that Zahs recently acquired. Sadrakula said that Fridley Theatres, which owns the State Theatre, wanted to put on the event to highlight the work that has been done and honor the history of the building.
“The Brinton family was showing silent movies in our theatre, as the Graham Opera House, in the 1890s” Sadrakula said. “Some of the earliest silent movies in the world were being shown here in Washington, Iowa, of all places.”
She explained Zahs had purchased a box of films from the Brinton family after Indiana Brinton died. Humanities Iowa and the Iowa Community Cultural Grant Program began sponsoring Zahs to shows the films. Sadrakula said that in addition to the early black-and-white films, there were several artifacts such as programs, posters and movie tickets.
While many of the films are being restored, the films that will be shown during the 175th will be films highlighting travel in foreign countries such as Egypt or the Middle East.
“They showed people from Washington, Iowa, what it was like a world away,” Sadrakula said. “People who would never get to travel got to see what it was like somewhere else.”
She said that the films offered people the chance to explore a different culture.