(Riverton, WY) The ACME Theater is one, if not the most iconic building on Main Street, and the Riverton Museum has a new display with items, playbills, and storyboards that highlight its history, back in the “golden age” of film.
Museum Site Manager Nathaniel Griffee had done substantial research about the ACME and found old newspaper clippings, playbills, old ticket rolls, and other items for the display, among which included a box containing 97 advertising slides that would be shown before the movies.
“I’ve always liked film history, and I was thinking about doing some sort of new display,” Griffee said. “I knew we had stuff from the ACME Theater. Plus, it’s one of the most iconic places on Main Street. Of all the buildings there, it’s one of the first that you notice.”
The history of the ACME Theater is portrayed in storyboards that surround the display. Griffee also created an impressive mural backdrop that depicts stills of every film that was played at the ACME Theater between 1914 (when it first opened as the ACME Amusement Company) until early 1919, “…and then I kinda ran out of room,” he laughed.
The display took Griffee about two weeks to put together.
“The blue stills in the mural depict movies that no longer exist or are lost,” Griffee said. “Back in the day, they would tint films to give them more life and color. For example, blue would be used to show that it’s night…so I made sure that the ones that aren’t lost, I would find in normal color.”
“They would show movies once or twice a week, and then it’d be like, every night they’d have a different film,” he continued. “I couldn’t find all the stills for all the movies…even the ones that aren’t supposedly lost, it’s hard to find the stills because they’re so old.”
Also on display is an old speaker from the Knight Drive-In. Tom Knight had worked as a projectionist at the ACME Theater in the 1920s and opened the drive-in movie theater on South Federal in August 1950.
The Riverton Museum is located at 700 East Park Avenue, and is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students (elementary to university), and children ages 5 and under are free. For more information and updates on events and activities, visit their website or their Facebook page.