Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler finally reached Scranton 75 years ago this week.
The Academy Award winning film opened here in Scranton at the Comerford Theater on Wyoming Ave on Jan 26, 1940. The cost to see the film was 75 cents (plus tax) for the matinee and $1.10 (plus tax) for an evening showing. Adjusting for inflation the cost today would be $12.68 for the matinee and $18.60 for the evening show.
Here is the ad that ran in the Scranton Times on Jan 26 announcing the arrival of the film:
“Gone With The Wind” and many other classic films have a small connection to Scranton in form of a movie executive who got his start in the business in the Electric City. The man was Frank Whitbeck and worked for MGM as a public relations executive and a narrator for such films as “Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz”. You can read more about Mr. Whitbeck and his connection to Scranton in this 2014 article by Local History columnist Erin Nissley – “Theater Manager made it big as public relations chief at MGM.”
Even the A&P got in on the excitement of the opening of “Gone With The Wind” in Scranton with this ad that ran in the Scranton Times on Jan 29, 1940