Blasts from the Past: December 7, 2017

The Majestic Theater (Photo Shannon Zeltmann / The Gettysburgian)

The Majestic Theater (Photo Shannon Zeltmann / The Gettysburgian)

By Shannon Zeltmann, Staff Writer

This week in 1897, The Gettysburg Mercury put in an advertisement asking students for songs for a college song book. They were willing to take songs from students and alumni alike. They really wanted Gettysburg students to think about it during the winter vacation and to ask, “all the friends and alumni of the institution who have talent in the line of composition.” The Mercury staff was excited to create this book of “praises of old Gettysburg!”

This week in 1902, The Gettysburgian reported the Glee Club had a wonderful concert at the Teachers’ Institute. Everyone only had words of praise and they encored all the songs they sung. They stated they had been doing faithful practices that were a few hours long each week and put in a lot of work to make each song amazing. Months of preparation were put into the performance and it paid off. This work can still be seen by our numerous musical ensembles on the campus who have been doing their final performances this semester.

This week in 1947, Dr. Roy K. Marshall, director of the Franklin Institute Planetarium, came to the college to discuss nuclear fission. He was a renowned astrophysicist and he gave a seminar for the science majors, as well as anyone else who was interested in his research. The Gettysburgian stated that many students had already met Dr. Marshall before the event took place because he wrote about his research in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. It must have been an interesting event, learning more about nuclear and astrophysics.

This week in 2002, Gettysburg was experiencing a Majestic revival! How did the Majestic Theater become what it is today? Back in 1925, the theater was built because of the plans of a 22-year-old Gettysburg alum, Henry Scharf. In 1922, his father died, and he became the owner of the Gettysburg Hotel. He set out to create an annex with a dance floor and a 1,200-seat auditorium. The Majestic was born. The hall and auditorium were used often, however in 1983, the Majestic was destroyed by a fire and was not refinished until the college bought the Gettysburg Hotel and Majestic in 1988. However, it quickly became inadequate for performances. In 2002, the theater was finally renovated to the wonderful theater we all know today.

These blasts from the past are compiled using archived editions of The Gettysburgian available in Musselman Library’s Special Collections.

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Author: Shannon Zeltmann

Shannon Zeltmann '21 is planning on double majoring in history and art history. She is also planning on being part of the Symphony Orchestra, the Civil War Club, and Nerd Nation. Shannon is an all-around nerd, who loves art and history too much and loves to read, draw, and play her cello on the side. She is excited to be a new member of The Gettysburgian team.

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