© Roy Tuley Photography
"On March 2, 1951, the doors of the Rogers Theater swung open to welcome its first audience. Lured by newspaper ads that described the Rogers as “The South’s finest, ultra-modern motion picture theater,” customers had formed a line at the box office that wrapped around the block. Ushers handed out programs that included the Rogers’ mission statement: “To serve you is our intent; to please you our delight.” Chamber of Commerce president Alf Law, Mayor Hugh Wasson, and mayoral candidate Luther Masingill presided over the opening ceremony. A note on Luther's political venture: 1951 was an election year in the city, and Luther was running as a candidate against Wasson and P. R. Olgiati, with Olgiati later winning. Actually, Luther's candidacy was part of a radio promotion at WDEF." READ MOREArticle by Harmon Jolley at chattanoogan.com
The Rogers Theater marquee reveals the approximate date of this photo. The film entered the public domain (in the USA) due to the claimant’s failure to renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication. It received fairly low reviews, however, you can watch it here courtesy of archive.org.
In the distance, a large sign over the Electric Power Board advertises “The magic servant, ELECTRICITY, better-safer-cheaper”.
By today’s view, this seems a strange approach, but in the years following WWII, many electric utilities were looking for ways to promote and educate the public about electricity.
One of the most memorable icons of these marketing efforts was ‘Reddy Kilowatt. Reddy was the brainchild in 1925 of Ashton B. Collins (1885-1976), then commercial manager at the Alabama Power Company. Collins personification of electric power was appealing, clever, and able to tell the story of electricity easily.
Collins worked tirelessly to develop Reddy into a comprehensive plan. By 1934 the company had launched the “Reddy Kilowatt Program,” targeted at investor-owned electric utilities. Collins wanted electric utilities to urge their customers to go “all” electric, using Reddy as the “pitchman.”