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Portland History and the “Valentine Bandit”

posted: , by Abraham
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Portland History

The photo below was our Valentine’s Day treat in 2010. Already two years ago! Notice the Library’s first-phase renovation was nearly done, as seen in the photo. Still, Portland’s mysterious Valentine Bandit saw fit to visit us!

Valentine’s Day 2010

Since Valentine’s Day 1976, each February 14th has greeted Portlanders with paper and banner-style valentine heart decorations. One year, Fort Gorges in Casco Bay was draped in a large valentine. This year, the huge heart banner is suspended on the Portland Museum of Art. Paper valentines, as usual, are taped on downtown shop windows- and along the front of the Library today.

Here’s an entry from the Portland Now blog about Portland’s annual Valentine phenomenon.

Today’s Portland Daily Sun features an article with some fascinating background about Valentine’s Day in Portland.


Back to school

posted: , by Abraham
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Portland History

Yes, it’s that time of the year- for nursery school children and post-grad university students alike, along with all of us that teach and support the learning process. To commemorate the Back to School season, the Library wishes good studies (bonnes études!) with a few selections from the Archives in the Portland Room.

Getting on the bus begins the journey! This was taken in 1955.

 

“Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!” Shopping for school supplies at Grant’s Department Store, downtown Portland, in 1958.

Pupils’ desks being readied for the new school year. Photo taken in 1958.

Portland High School students in their scholastic finery, in 1956.

On the steps at Portland High School- in more casual fashion. This was taken in 1956.

North School children at work! This was taken in September 1974, at the Munjoy Hill school.


Portland History and Children’s Theatre of Maine

posted: , by Abraham
tags: Library Collections | Online Services | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Portland History

Children’s Theatre of Maine, beginning in 1924, is America’s oldest continuing children’s theatrical company. Some of their earliest performances were at the Elm Theatre which stood where the eastern portion of the Portland Public Library now stands! Children’s Theatre has a history filled with colorful highlights and milestones, and these are preserved in the Archives in the Portland Room and in the Library’s Digital Commons digitized collections.

CTM is now part of the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, on Free Street.

The image below shows a poster from a Children’s Theatre play in 1954, performed at Deering Oaks park.

The pictures immediately above and below were taken in 1948 (on Kodachrome film), at Redbank Village. The Children’s Theatre trailer stage even drew the attention of Life Magazine, and it was towed to Central Park for performances by the kids from Portland to New York audiences!

The above image shows a captivated audience in the 1940s, and the image below shows a Children’s Theatre member named Tony Shalhoub, helping a younger actor in 1975. Children’s Theatre history includes many celebrity actors and supporters- the latter including Bette Davis and Tony Randall.

Two images from the late 1990s – early 2000s: Above: an outdoor performance in Falmouth; Below: “The Emporer’s New Clothes,” performed at Nathan Clifford School.

Through their continuing history, Children’s Theatre has benefited from its energetic mentors. Below is an image from the early 1990s, as two young actors review a script with Lisa DiFranza.

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