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Johnny Vardeman: Hall County premiered its locally made movie in 1952
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Cast and community members stand under the Ritz Theater marquee in Gainesville for the 1952 premiere of “Birthright.”

These photos show the 1952 “world premiere” of the movie “Birthright,” which was filmed in Hall County with a local cast for the most part.

The parade of cars is coming down Washington Street crossing Bradford Street on the downtown square. The building at the corner of Washington and Bradford is now occupied by Christopher’s formal wear.

Note other businesses along Washington Street include Ruth’s Beauty Shop, Courtenay’s Jewelers, the State Theater, Ledford’s Drug Store, Bell’s Cleaners, Ronald’s women’s clothing, the Cake Box, Georgia Gas Co. and Georgia Power on the corner of Washington and Green. Smith and Pethel Barber Shop also was along that stretch.

In the other photo, local cast members and community leaders stand under the marquee at the Ritz Theater on Bradford Street, where the movie was shown. People also wait in line for the premiere. Note admission prices 35 cents for adults, 14 cents for children. Next door to the theater on the left was Jay Jewelers.

Most of the filming was done in the Harmony Hall community. The University of Georgia and state Health Department produced the 45-minute movie about venereal disease, certainly a controversial topic in the 1950s. Emphasis was on early detection and treatment of the disease. Proceeds from the movie went to public health and community causes.

Boyce Brown, a poultry farmer, was the main character. Margory Morris was his wife. Other actors from Harmony Hall included Mr. and Mrs. A.O. (Buddy) Jarrett, Howard and Alley-May Williams and Patsy Brown (Mrs. Ron Peeples), who was a child at the time.

Others in the cast included Paula Haygood, C.S. Buchanan, Claribel Jones, W.T. Gantt Jr., Jake Ellard, Edward Mangum, Major Nuckolls and Charles Westbrook.

Brown left the farm, but didn’t go into acting, becoming an Eastern Airlines pilot instead.

Johnny Vardeman is retired editor of The Times.

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