Posts Tagged ‘columbia’

One of the things I love about journalism is how it helps me and readers see new connections by bringing information together, in this case, the history and economics of movie theatres.

I’ve lived in Columbia twice, once from 1991-1995, then from 1998 until now, but I never realized that the beautiful theatre buildings on Ninth Street revealed literally the concrete results of the roaring 1920s.

During the 1920s, thousands of movie theaters were built across the country. Actually, these buildings were called movie palaces because that’s what they were — ornate, beautiful, fanciful buildings where people went to see the developing medium, moving picture shows.

But what goes up must come down, which explains why by the time I moved to Columbia, the former Hall Theatre was vacant, the Missouri Theatre was struggling and the former Varsity Theatre had not yet become the successful live music venue, The Blue Note.

After the roaring 1920s, the Great Depression came along and decades later, television and the move to the suburbs were other changes that explain why so many downtown movie palaces were left vacant or converted to other uses.

By 1962, the number of movie theaters had fallen to 9,150, down from 14,716 in 1954. As one source noted, the glut of buildings in the 1920s led to the glut of demolition in the 1950s and 1960s.

But I think the wave of destruction is over. Today, the Hall Theatre houses the Panera Bread Company, The Blue Note continues to be a successful live music venue and the chief of operations at the Missouri Theatre has a plan designed to solve its financial problems.

This connection to the roaring 1920s was not visible to me until reporting connected the dots along Ninth Street. That’s why journalism, in which information is put into context, is so important.

Read the two-page package published on June 25, 2010 in the Columbia Business Times either at this link or below.

CBT Columbia Cinema Evolution p1 062510

CBT Columbia Cinema Evolution p2 062510

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This package of articles showcases this upcoming fundraiser – Kitchens in Bloom, noon – 4 p.m. May 2, 2010, which will benefit the Boone County Council on Aging. It also highlights exactly who the fundraiser will benefit.

The BCCA helps local seniors by helping them find resources so they can live in their homes independently with dignity and safety. That’s what the BCCA did to help Mary Sutton, of matriarch of the family who once operated the well-known and well loved Sutton’s Barbeque, where Bill Clinton stopped.

The fund-raising event will feature tours of the homes listed below. But if you go, don’t forget who you are really helping, not the Boone County Council on Aging, but local people who don’t need a hand out, but simply a helping hand.

Jackie Lenox | 708 W. Rollins Road
 
Margie Sable and George Smith | 228 E. Parkway Drive
Brian and Susan Smith | 813 Edgewood
Ann and John Havey | 112 Bingham Road

 
 
 
 

 

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Measuringworth.com is a web site where you can use a variety of calculators to determine how much something was worth historically.

For example, in the book I’m wrote with Charles W. Gehrke before his death about his life, his career and his accomplishments, he told me he’d raised roughly $200,000 to get what is now called ABC Labs going in 1968. Naturally, I wondered first how he did that — that answer is in the book, “From the Melon Fields to the Moon,” to be published.

Then, I wondered how much $200,000 would be worth today. That answer I found at measuringworth.com, using one of their calculators to determine the value of currency at various time periods.

The answer is $200,000 in 1968 would have been worth roughly $1.1 million in 2007 dollars, according to MeasuringWorth.com.

A tool like measuringworth.com can help a reporter provide context to an article or a book.  And that, in my opinion, is one of the jobs journalists are supposed to do: provide context to help make the world understandable to readers.

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What I love about journalism is helping people make sense out of things that are happening, such as historic renovation.

Many of us love old buildings, but as the song says, sometimes we also ask ourselves what’s love gotta to do with it.

That’s when it is nice to be able to point to research and information that shows certain things also make economic sense. And that’s what this article does with historic renovation. Columbia’s City Council’s Historic Preservation names properties to a list of Notable Properties every year. For years I’ve been going to the gala event where they announce the new names to the list.

This year I wrote this article outlining how naming these properties and supporting restoration of such buildings actually helps all of us economically.

Read the article here:

http://www.columbiabusinesstimes.com/7099/2010/02/19/notable-properties/

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My first 10 years at work were spent as a secretary, time served before computers. I even fetched a cup of coffee or two for an executive. Finally, I returned to college and attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where I received a degree in journalism and in women’s studies.

I found my first job as a reporter with the Gaffney Ledger in Gaffney, South Carolina, where I covered everything from the Peach Festival to the school district. I then went to South Korea for a year and taught conversational English at Pusan National University, where I learned that teaching, like soccer, is more difficult than it looks.

I returned to the United States to attend graduate school at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where I fell in love with the hands-on Missouri Method and journalism all over again.

I received my master’s degree in 1993 and went to work for the Columbia Missourian as an editor and then for two daily newspapers before returning to Columbia to oversee the public outreach portion of a federally funded arthritis project at the University of Missouri

Then I moved to Moscow, Russia, for a year where I began my freelance career by writing for English-language publications there.

My Russian sojourn came courtesy of my husband’s Fulbright Scholarship award for 2003-2004, and we lived in a Soviet-style apartment of three tiny rooms and from there, I wrote for PASSPORT Moscow magazine and The Moscow News.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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