Jack Kretzer (HHS 1953) shares engaging memories of Hannibal's earlier era


1951 Rialto Theater in the 700 block of Broadway. Otis Howell photo, Steve Chou collection.

Jack Kretzer, HHS Class of 1953, has fond memories of growing up in the house his father helped build, located at 602 Flora in Hannibal, to the north of Mark Twain School.

His folks would give him a quarter a week, which allowed him to take the bus downtown, see a movie and get a soda or candy, and ride the bus back to the nearby stop on St. Mary’s Ave.

The movie, which cost 10 cents, included two cartoons and a serial, all for a dime. “Then they had the audacity to raise the movie to 12 cents,” he said, which messed with his budget. “If I bought a soda or a candy” at the theater, “I had to walk home,” he remembered.

The most popular movies of the era starred Gene Autry, the famed western actor who could pack the theater.

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