Murphy by the book: Sales of new publication help kick-off theatre’s 100th birthday

WILMINGTON — The Murphy Theatre will be celebrating its 100th birthday on July 24, 2018. In anticipation of this event, and to record and preserve the history of this magnificent theater, the Murphy is selling a book entitled “The Historic Murphy Theatre, the People, the Entertainment, and the Monument” by Jennifer Hollon.

Hollon — Murphy board member and President of the Clinton County Historical Society — has donated her time, research and photographs for the publication of this book. Generous donations from local publisher Orange Frazer Press, as well as from local businesses aand individuals, will cover the cost of the book’s publication.

One-hundred percent of the purchase price will go to the preservation of The Murphy Theatre.

This coffee table-size edition, indexed and in full color, contains stories, memories, and facts about a century of entertainment on Main Street. The book sells for $49.95.

“It is rare that a community the size of Wilmington has a beautiful live performance theater which has been the centerpiece of downtown for one hundred years,” said Hollon.

Built by Charles Webb Murphy, it was owned by his family heirs until it was sold in 1985 to Chakeres Theatres of Springfield. By 1988, under the leadership of businessman James Powell, the community organized and purchased it, and the Murphy became a community-owned, nonprofit organization.

“Charles Murphy stated he’d rather have his monument on Main Street instead of at Sugar Grove Cemetery,” said Hollon. “Today, it stands with twinkling lights fulfilling his wish to provide this community with the arts and educational entertainment.

Purchasing the book means you are also investing in the future preservation of The Murphy Theatre.

Books will be available at the Murphy Theatre offices and at the Clinton County History Center beginning in early September. For more information, you can call the theater at 937-382-3643.

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