In 1927, Mrs. Pearl G. Maddox opened the Valerie Theatre. The first film was a silent picture titled “The Only Woman”. For the next sixty years until 1987 with the showing of “The Untouchables”, the Valerie was the place to see movies in Inverness. Back in the day, the admission price for an adult for the “talkies” was 25 cents. At the time, other towns prohibited Sunday shows. The Inverness City Council boldly adopted a resolution to permit Sunday movies which made the theatre a social focal point for many years.
In 2000, the St. Petersburg Times ran an article that began with “Once a landmark, now a relic, the Valerie Theater sits on the downtown square waiting for her chance to come back”. With that comment and the history of the Valerie, we begin anew with film offerings.
The first showing happened in February 2016 for a benefit for the old Homosassa Water Tower. The film “Crosswinds” was shown as part of an evening’s festivities to raise money for this cause to 150 patrons.
On April 29, 30 & May 1, we will be showing “The Legend Of Kate Kensington” in its Inverness premier. This feature film was written and directed by local artist, Brad Castillo and produced by CVI Productions.
The year is 1942 a young woman is suffering from a severe case of depression due to the loss of her fiancé. Her parents send her to a mental asylum for treatment. Things get worse for Kate as she slips further into depression. Her parents have her released into their care. On October 31, 1942 Kate Kensington was last seen wearing her wedding dress and walking into the woods behind the Kensington Estate. A massive twenty-two day search was conducted without a single clue to Kate’s whereabouts. Captain Donald Harper: “This has been a tough case for all of us to endure. We are confident with the aggressive search of the area surrounding where Kate disappeared that she is no longer there. This case will remain open and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kensington family.” For the next 72 years there have been sightings of Kate Kensington at the Kensington Estate and inside Hills of Rest Cemetery. These are the stories that helped create “The Legend Of Kate Kensington”.
On Sunday, May 8th at 3PM, the Valerie Theatre Classic Film Series will begin with the showing of “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”. We will present classics on most Sundays keeping in the tradition of the history of the Valerie. Come and relive your favorites and some that you have never seen before on the big screen with some popcorn, candy and a drink (PS, we have all that and don’t forget to bring your friends!).
City Council member John Sullivan said (about Valerie Theatre) “From there, she could be anything: another movie house, a store, a performing arts theater”. Thankfully, the Valerie Theatre Cultural Center is alive and well and has brought you live entertainment that has been experienced by seven sold out audiences. We are proud to be part of the business community! The films are just another component in the mission statement of this gem of a theatre in the middle of downtown Inverness…small town, done right!
Alan Forino, the Director of the Valerie Theatre Cultural Center, is the author of this piece. I am so overwhelmed with the community support for the old girl. Inverness should be proud in having this showplace alive in its community. For too many years, cities have destroyed the history that so many people knew and loved. Memories and many first dates happened in the Valerie. As we continue to grow, my pledge to you is to build on the first year of our existence. In closing, I’d like to thank all of those who had a part in bringing the Valerie back in all of its glory. The Valerie Theatre is located at 207 Courthouse Square, Inverness, FL 34450 phone: 352-341-7850 or website: www.valerietheatre.org
WELCOME TO THE SHOW!