A Treasured Homecoming: Original "Gone with the Wind" Movie Poster Donated Back to Brown Grand Theatre
On Wednesday, October 12, 2022, Brown Grand Opera House Director Melissa Swenson received an email from Laurie Blaha, Jack and Hannalesa Roney’s oldest daughter, about a donation her family would like to make to the Brown Grand. The Roney family, who owned and operated the Brown Grand as a movie theatre from 1966-mid-70’s, were big movie fans themselves. Blaha informed Swenson that she had the original GONE WITH THE WIND movie poster that used to hang behind the stage, and now she would like to donate it back to the theatre for others to enjoy.
The film GONE WITH THE WIND premiered in 1939 and was a huge commercial success for its time. The Roney’s continued to operate the Brown Grand as a movie theater until the mid-70’s when they decided Concordia could no longer support three theaters. The Roney’s then agreed to sell the Brown Grand to the City of Concordia so it could be restored back to its original purpose as an opera house.
There were only a very few posters of this size made for GONE WITH THE WIND, and from Blaha’s research, this print is the rarest of them all. Director Melissa Swenson said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have this incredible piece of history back at the Brown Grand! However, due to its age, it does need some restoration and preservation work.”
The Brown Grand will be working closely with Fran Trost from Picture This to clean, mat, frame, and preserve the poster to the best of their abilities. Swenson adds, “We are in need of approximately $800 more to ensure we can appropriately protect this piece of our history.”
Anyone who might be interested in donating to support this project can mail a tax-deductible gift to the Brown Grand at 310 W. 6th Street, PO Box 347, Concordia, KS 66901. Please note: GONE WITH THE WIND in the memo line of a check.
To learn more about the poster or the preservation process, please call Melissa Swenson, Brown Grand Theatre Director at (785) 243-2553.
About The Brown Grand Opera House, Inc. – Established in 1907, currently celebrating 115 years, the Brown Grand Theatre is dedicated to enhancing cultural life in North Central Kansas. As a vibrant, majestic opera house, The Theatre hosts dozens of local organizations and brings live entertainment to the area for everyone to enjoy. Events and performances take place year-round and all are invited to visit our historic venue. To see a schedule of upcoming events, to rent the space, and to join our mailing list please visit www.browngrand.org or call 785-243- 2553. Follow us on Facebook at “Brown Grand Theatre” and on Twitter @BrownGrand1907.