Traill Theater

It’s always reminded me of Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show, the Traill Theater in Hillsboro.  Why not?  It has the same look as the famous one in Archer City, Texas.

Growing up in Hillsboro, a kid had little choice but to spent hours there, usually Friday or Saturday nights, mostly in the summer.  I’m sure I saw all of the Martin & Lewis movies there.  After seeing Hitchcock’s Psycho I didn’t sleep all night.

For years admission was thirty-five cents. Popcorn was a dime. Pretty good entertainment for half a buck.

Closed for years, Lee Barnum tells me there’s an effort in Hillsboro now to refurbish and reopen the Traill.  It would be used for an arts center, live theater, meetings, that sort of thing. Ambitious, yes, but just look to the highly successful Audi Theatre in Cando, North Dakota, if you need a model.

It will cost money to do it, of course.  Lots of it, probably.  The theater’s roof is shot for openers.

Beginning early next year the fund raising begins.  A group has been formed to make some money.  How?  By putting on a show, of course. Not in the theater but rather in the school gym.  It’s going to be one of Lee’s plays, the first of several.

If they sell popcorn, they should charge more than a dime.

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