Hollywood & Fort Atkinson

Date in History: 1931

Fort Atkinson was recently the setting for a movie, but Hollywood first invaded Fort Atkinson over 70 years ago. The Hollywood director known as S. Cudia traveled the country during the 1920’s and 30’s making films to promote the movie industry. He used local talent and news to create his film and newsreels and then released them in the local theaters.

In September of 1931 he chose Fort Atkinson for the setting of his next film and sent his photographer, Lewis Collins ahead to scout the town for locations and talent for the new production. Collins was captivated by the bands, baseball games and other festivities in Fort Atkinson over the Labor Day weekend. The next week Cudia began production on the melodrama, a love story complete with villain, kidnapping, wild chase and pet dog . The lead roles where played by local residents Elinor Hanson and Bradford Thompson. The film successfully played at the Fort Theater for three days in September.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 08/15/2005.

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