Downtown Wichita Falls, Texas, in the mid 1940’s was a bustling metropolis for a boy of 7 just away from the farm and ranch community where he was born. My father, a cook and cowboy by trade, had just started as one of the first cooks for the Casa Manana restaurant in 1947. He moved us to an apartment on Ohio Street, right across from the Gem Theater, between 7th and 8th Streets. It’s here that we would stay for the next three years. The Gem Theater became a magic palace for a young mind. But it had to share that distinction with the rest of the magic that was Wichita Falls. I attended San Jacinto and Carrigan elementary schools, as well as Reagan Junior High, and belonged to the Boys Club on 6th Street. Please join, and share your stories and pictures through a Guest Blog, of early Wichita Falls - or your home town. Contact me at or leave a comment. We could use old pictures of movie houses, drive-in theaters, and other nostalgic pictures related to our youths.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Invisible Monster

The Invisible Monster, a 12-chapter serial from Republic in 1950, starring Richard Webb (may be better known as TV’s Captain Midnight) as Lane, the insurance investigator for Apex Insurance, and Aline Towne, as Carol, a criminal scientific investigator assigned to assist him. The Phantom Ruler, well played by Stanley Price, has a robe and hood soaked in chemicals that under certain light make him invisible. Strangely, the mysterious Phantom Ruler reveals his identity from the very start, so there’s no real mystery about who he is. The Phantom Ruler has brought highly intelligent illegal immigrants to America to do his bidding, or he’ll notify immigrations and have them returned to their home country where they may be wanted. The plan is to build an army of invisible soldiers to take over America. It has the usual great cliffhangers that only Republic can do. In fact, I’ve seen them all before, but they’re so much fun. Tom Steele is great in the fight stunts, as always, and there are plenty of these. Spent about three hours over Saturday afternoon watching this great old serial.

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