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The Majestic Theatre & 1919 Can Drive

The Majestic Theatre stood at 229 South Main Street, in the building Smith + Trade Mercantile now calls home. The distinctive rooflines of both the theatre and the Waffle Parlor next door remain unchanged today. The Waffle Parlor building is the current location of Stillwater Olive Oil Co. To the left of the theatre, and just visible, is the building that now houses Stillwater Proper. The building on the right side of the photo was the clothing store, I.G. Ziegler, of which Ignatz Ziegler was the proprietor and is now home to Lolo American Kitchen Stillwater.

The aged label on this photograph dated this photo to 1912. Looking into it, we discovered the photo was actually taken in 1919 – both the main movie feature, “The Unknown Love,” as well as the other advertised feature, “Never Say Quit,” were released in 1919.

Digging further, we were able to date this photo to Saturday, April 19, 1919. On that day a tin can contest took place that was part of a broader city clean-up effort. An estimated 25,000 cans were collected and taken to the city dump. Children who brought at least 10 cans were rewarded with a ticket to the afternoon matinee showing of “Never Say Quit,” a silent comedy featuring George Walsh. The event was co-sponsored by the Stillwater Messenger and described in an article published in that paper on April 23, 1919, pictured below.

Thanks to the Stillwater Area Historic Newspaper Initiative for making this and other historical Stillwater newspapers available digitally. The photograph is part of the library’s John Runk photograph collection which you can view in the St. Croix Collection Room anytime the library is open.

Stillwater Messenger 1919 Can Drive