Congrats to the Clyde Theatre in Langley for 75 years of movies

Posted in Duff 'n Stuff

Duff ‘n Stuff, Sept. 21, 2012

Last weekend was a busy one on the south end of the Whidbey Island.

Bestselling author and local resident Elizabeth George introduced her newest release and her first young adult fiction, “The Edge of Nowhere,” to an appreciative audience at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. George is also the author of a popular crime novel series featuring Ispector Thomas Lynley set in England. With this new series, there’s a bit of excitement over the fact that George has set the story in Langley and around the parameters of Whidbey Island.

Actor Shelley Hartle gave a skilled reading from the book and George told some interesting secrets about her process. But more on that later after I’ve read this first book and can tell you what I think.

Meanwhile, down on First Street, the Clyde Theatre owners, Blake and Lynn Willeford, were celebrating the 75th birthday of the movie house, which has been in the Willeford family for 40 years.

The party at the Clyde Theatre on Sept.16 attracted a gathering of locals.

A crowd was gathered to pop in and out of the screenings of old “family footage” of yokel locals through the years. Everything from clips of the Fools Theater troupe, who used the Clyde ‘s stage back in the day for theatrical extravaganzas, to film of Whidbey Children’s Theater kids, including some over-the-top cute footage of the Willeford’s son Brook in rare form onstage.

When I ducked into the theater, I happened to catch the Rural Characters in their now locally famous film, “Fishin’ For Chickens” video, set to their song of the same name and starring the characters themselves, with an outstanding performance from the ever versatile Tom Fisher in all manner of drag and fishin’ for chickens antics. Hilarious.

I tried to capture a moment in the dark theater.

The Rural Characters in “Fishin’ For Chickens” screened at the Clyde Theatre in Langley for the 75th birthday celebration of the movie house.

The celebration continued outside as folks gathered to peruse the posted memorabilia featuring the old printed schedules illustrated with local art and other sundry.

The owners posted memorabilia featuring the printed schedules of yesteryears illustrated with local art.

Lynn Willeford was caught in a sunbeam as she snapped a photo of the Clyde on its big day.

Lynn Willeford snaps a photo of the Clyde at its 75th birthday celebration.

Clyde fans mixed and milled around outside the theatre as the Western Heroes band began to play for the finale of the celebration. Folks enjoyed a bit of dancing in the streets, a thing the locals do well and fairly often in Langley.

Blake and Lynn Willeford joined the fray.

Clyde Theatre owners Blake and Lynn Willeford head into the dancers to celebrate the Clyde’s 75 years.

Happy Birthday, Clyde Theatre!

From the heart,

Patricia Duff

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