I'm proud to be from Pennsylvania. Two state mottos are "You've Got a Friend In Pennsylvania" and the "Independence State," and both ring true for me. While New York City has been my home for over half of my life, my roots are in Pennsylvania. We have a rich history, kind people, and great antiquing. Shopping in Pennsylvania recently with MARKET WARRIORS, I felt immediately at home.
Starting inI very much enjoyed the warm and friendly dealers. In fact, one of the dealers grew up in my neighborhood and knew my family's business. Being the "Independence State," I saw a number of patriotic and military items. Also, as Pennsylvania is a treasure trove for collectors of outsider art and furnishings, there were bargains and great finds in that arena.
When my shopping for the show was complete, I did take a moment to return to a dealer and purchase a poster I saw that struck a sentimental chord. It is from the Roxy Theater in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, which is not far from the town where my grandmother was born and raised. It is from the week of August 5, 1935 and advertises the five movies playing that week, including two that were shown under the umbrella of a "Special Midnite Ghost Show." Admission was 35 cents, and the theater is advertised as "Always Cool." I'm a huge fan of classic films, with a decided preference for those from the 1930s and 1940s, so this appealed to me on a variety of levels. In fact, I've never seen a few of the films on the roster, so I'm excited to watch them, especially one called "Escapade" with WIlliam Powell and Luise Rainer. It was Rainer's first film in the U.S. (she was German-born), and she went on to win the Best Actress Oscar in 1936 and 1937.
I always say that you never know what you'll find at a flea market, and while I certainly wasn't looking for a 1935 Roxy movie theater poster, I couldn't leave without it.
At theit really felt like old home week, as I was delighted to see some dealers from New York, and very much enjoyed their great merchandise. While smaller in size, the market had a lot of fantastic things. I saw some great artwork (one of my favorite things to buy at flea markets), bargain furniture and some beautiful lighting. Fitting with the "independent" reputation of the city, I also spied an early 1900s photo album with a Liberty Bell cutout on the front. It had never been used, and was in beautiful condition. While I left it at the market for someone else to discover and own, it was a pleasure seeing it.
Photo by Bob Richter.