Central High School Auditorium

Cape Central’s auditorium is still in great shape. Here are some photos taken in 2009, during the 2010 reunion and black and white shots from the 60s. I understand that the seats have been recovered since we were there. It also looks like carpet has been added to the aisles. A projection booth in the back and some serious stage lighting has also been added over the years.

Auditorium used for speech and debate

Contestants in the Freshman-Sophomore Speech Contest in 1963 pose. I recognize Bill Wilson, Linda Stone and Janet Zickfield.

Red Dagger plays were the biggies

The biggest events of the year were the Red Dagger Plays. Here’s a posting of two plays.

Photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left of right side of the image to move through the gallery. I see vintage shots of Tricia Tipton, Carolyn Pensel and Jim Feldmier, among others. One of the reunion shots has Bill East, Betty Rawlings and Terry Hopkins wandering around trying to find the gum they had left under the seats in 1964.


11 Replies to “Central High School Auditorium”

  1. I wish you had pics of “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” Central’s first musical. I can’t believe that we didn’t take more photos.
    I took a group of high school students there to see “Hello, Dolly!” in the late 70’s, I think it was, and I had the pleasure of seeing my students’ absolute delight and amazement at the production! In the cafeteria the next day, one of the girls jumped up on a table and sang a few bars from the theme song. What made it so unusual was that she was ordinarily very shy. That’s the beauty of student drama productions–they bring out such wonderful qualities in the kids.
    I’m very glad that the “powers that be” have seen fit to keep the theater in good shape. It’s a magnificent facility–and we don’t see many of those being built in the new schools. Economics won’t support them anymore. I attended “The Sound of Music” at Notre Dame not long ago. We sat on folding chairs in a large open gym-like room. It’s just not the same!
    I’m wondering what the new Central theater will be like. Do you know?

    1. I haven’t done much wandering around in the new Central High School. I will be doing a piece soon on the library. Julia Howes Jorgensen, librarian, has done a wonderful job of creating a comfortable, friendly and inspiring place for the students to gather. It’s a far cry from the study hall environment we grew up with, as seen here and here.

  2. That 1964 photo, looking east along the front row of seats toward that open door, took me immediately back to Irene Wright and the speech classes I took with her. That podium and blackboard probably seldom moved from their places while she taught there. And whatever gift for public speaking I can claim sprouted under her tutelage.

  3. I think I know the guy in the glasses in the top photo. I think you may have the only photo of Bob Tomberlin in the universe. Bob’s Dad was the Hall resident in Chaney Hall at SEMO while we were in school so Bob and his whole family lived at Cheney Hall…I think Bob’s Dad graduated while we were in High School and then moved… Long time since I have seen him.

  4. Thanks Terry, I was trying to come up with a name. Oh, if those walls could talk, the tales they could tell. Lots of fun times spent in that auditorium.

  5. Hi Ken, thanks for the memories! And Hi to you Terry. Yes, Bob Tomberlin! Sweet guy. And the gal on the far right is Jane McKeown Neumeyer– great and smart friend. We were a brave bunch to stand up there and speak up in that giant auditorium. I even remember my speech topic! It was something about physical fitness. And yesterday I cross country skied at 10,000 ft on Lizard Head Pass near Telluride. I think my Dad must have been the influence for all the sports and exercise focus. And I am sure that my 22 year career as a speaker started the day I decided to take part in the freshman/sophomore speech contest. Happy New Year to All!

    1. You’re right about it being daunting to stand up on that stage. I remember delivering my student body president stump speech up there and facing the largest crowd I’d ever been in front of. The only line I remember from the speech is at the beginning when I started to ad lib something about “It’s amazing to look out and see so many colors …” then I hesitated, not sure if it was appropriate in those days to note that Central had a wide variety of skin tones. “…of clothing,” I wimped.

      I hadn’t thought of that in years until you brought up your memory of getting up enough courage to face the student body.

  6. And how about those annual talent shows by students…performed for the student body during the day and again that night for parents. At least that was the case in my senior year of 1962, when I did a stand-up comedy routine, Jack Benny style. A group of seniors put on a hilarious show, damsel in distress on the RR tracks and all. Look forward to our 50th next October!

  7. Ken, when you say “facing the largest crowd I’d ever been in front of.” we, in the crowd, often had to stand around the walls because of standing room only conditions. And in a warm auditorium it wasn’t unusual to have someone pass out. I joined the Projectionist Club thinking I would have a chance to help with the film and slide shows we saw there. I and others were sorely disappointed to find that there was no connection between The Club and those chosen to help.

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