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 26, 2017

The Man From Planet X

The Man From Planet X was another one of those early (1951) SF movies that caught the theatergoers unawares. Even with its, at times, poor stage props, and diving bell shaped spacecraft, the movie had content. Was the alien good or bad? Was it truly an invasion, or were the aliens in desperate search of a new home world. The alien shows a side of friendliness until the evil scientist, played by William Schallart, attacks him and tries to obtain scientific secrets, and then he turns evil and makes zombies out of them. Schallart would go on to better things in the following years, but this was still a good movie for him, even as the bad guy. Of course, we have Sally Field’s mother as the star (in my opinion). Margaret Field was excellent in the movie. And whoever played the alien did an outstanding job also. Plus, I loved the make up of the glass-helmeted creature (he wore the globe even in the space ship, but that was cool, too). The moors may have been the actual stars of the movie, as it presented a frightening and mysterious mood for the setting, not to mention the rolling fog and chilly dark nights for most of the scenes. It may not have reached the popularity of The Day The Earth Stood Still or The Thing From Another World, but in my opinion, it was right up there with the rest. I watched it originally at the State Theater in Wichita Falls when I was ten or eleven years old, liked it then, and still like it today.

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