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Sports & Entertainment Spotlight – May 2021 | Foster Garvey PC

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Sports & Entertainment Spotlight - May 2021 | Foster Garvey PC

Hope is in the air (not to mention copious amounts of tree pollen) here in New York – and that’s to say nothing of the Knicks’ hardwood resurgence, the Giants’ highly-acclaimed moves in last week’s NFL Draft and the Yankees’ bats and pitching arms coming to life. Indeed, with hard-won gains from mass vaccinations and other public health measures, New York City—once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic—is due to reopen and set the course to something resembling pre-pandemic life as restaurants, bars, comedy clubs, movie theatres, museums, stadiums and arenas return to full (albeit socially-distanced) capacity. We’ve come a long way and still have a ways to go, but there is much to look forward to.

(steps off soapbox)

With that, here’s what I am spotlighting this week:

  • Amidst the pandemic-driven boom in the in-home fitness category, Jay-Z and MLB All-Star Adrian Gonzalez are among those investing in a company that makes water-powered rowers. Roc Nation may yet become Row Nation.
  • Turner Sports snags NHL media rights from incumbent broadcasters, while Amazon solidifies its standing in the sports landscape, getting exclusive rights to NFL Thursday Night Football starting next year. Meanwhile, I plan on making corresponding long-term commitments with my couch.
  • Indianapolis Colts’ rookie defensive end, Kwity Paye, leverages the power of NFTs to do good for his sports and social justice foundation.
  • More state legislatures move forward with name, image and likeness legislation, while the NCAA’s predictable silence is deafening. My guess is that this ends up getting resolved with federal legislation.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!


Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

New York Giants Team Up with Grayscale Investments for NFL’s First Cryptocurrency Partnership
May 5, 2021 via Forbes (subscription may be required)
The New York Giants have added another big-time player to their growing team of corporate sponsors. Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest cryptocurrency asset manager with more than $46.65B in assets under management as of April 30, 2021, and the Giants have announced an exclusive partnership—and the first of its kind.

Travis Scott Doesn’t Like ‘Branding’ or ‘Marketing,’ But He’s So Damn Good at Both
May 3, 2021 via GFN – Creativity
Meet GFN’s Creator Visionary of the Year with Travis Scott, no creative choice is obvious or predictable. In fact, he didn’t even want his first album to be released on CD, still the standard format of the day in 2015.

Jay-Z, MLB’s Adrian Gonzalez Invest in Fitness Startup LIT Method
April 27, 2021 via Sport Techie
Jay-Z has invested in at-home fitness company LIT Method through his venture capital firm, Marcy Venture Partners. The investment was part of a LIT Method’s new funding round, which also included former MLB All-Star Adrian Gonzalez.

Eagles Partner With LifeBrand to Monitor Social Media
April 28, 2021 via Sport Techie
The Philadelphia Eagles have partnered with LifeBrand, a Pennsylvania-based startup that helps build and protect personal and corporate brands. The company’s AI-backed platform can confidentially identify and delete social media posts that could be perceived as harmful.

The General Insurance Lends Its Name to Shaq’s Esports Team
May 3, 2021 via Insurance Business Mag
The General Automobile Insurance Services (The General Insurance) has scored a turbo-powered goal with its new partnership with NRG Esports. The insurer will lend its name to NRG’s World Champion Rocket League team, which will be renamed “The General NRG.”


Film & TV

Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort Signs Three-Year First-Look Film Deal at Paramount
May 3, 2021 via Variety
Ryan Reynolds’ production company Maximum Effort has signed a three-year first-look deal with Paramount Pictures. The pact reunites Reynolds with longtime executive partner Emma Watts, Paramount’s motion picture group president, and the studio’s CEO Jim Gianopulos.

Amazon Gets Exclusive NFL Rights One Year Early
May 3, 2021 via Hollywood Reporter – Technology
Fox will drop ‘Thursday Night Football’ starting in 2022, with the tech giant set to take over exclusive video rights. Who says the NFL’s TV rights deals were done?

Mediapro Kicks Off Media Rights to Chinese Super League
May 2, 2021 via Rapid TV News
Spanish pay-TV provider Mediapro has signed an agreement with the Chinese Football Association to commercialize the international media rights to the Chinese Super League.

Canadaland Podcasts to be Adapted for Film and TV Through Storied Media Group Deal (EXCLUSIVE)
April 29, 2021 via Variety
The distinctive podcasts from disruptive Canadian news platform and podcaster Canadaland will soon receive global film and television adaptations thanks to a deal with U.S. outfit Storied Media Group (SMG). In addition to representing Canadaland in the packaging and sales of its multimedia journalism for television and film adaptation, SMG.

N.H.L. and Turner Sports Reach Seven-Year Media Rights Deal
April 27, 2021 via New York Times – Global View (subscription may be required)
The N.H.L. solidified its future on television and multimedia platforms in the United States on Tuesday (April 27) with the announcement of a second broadcast rights deal that will take effect after its agreement with NBC expires after this season. Turner Sports made a seven-year commitment, matching the length of the contract.

Activision Blizzard Expands Media Rights Deal With SPORT1
April 29, 2021 via eSports Insider – Latest News
Activision Blizzard has expanded its distribution rights with German television broadcaster SPORT1. The multi-year agreement renews the broadcaster’s TV-exclusive rights to the Overwatch League across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


Music Biz

Prince’s Estate Has Valuable Estate Planning Lessons for Us
April 28, 2021 via Forbes – Top Stories (subscription may be required)
Prince’s estate and the legal actions following his death deliver important estate planning lessons to most of the rest of us. Prince Rogers Nelson, the entertainer known generally as Prince, was a successful musician, entertainer and record producer.

Red Hot Chili Peppers to Sell Song Catalog to Hipgnosis for Upwards of $140 Million
May 3, 2021 via Register Citizen
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are selling their song catalog to Hipgnosis Songs for upwards of $140 million, sources confirm to Variety, making them the latest heritage artist to benefit from the intellectual property gold rush that has seen Bob Dylan sell his songwriting catalog to Universal Music Publishing.

U.S. Tax Court: Valuation of Performer’s Image and Likeness, Music Publishing Trust and Catalog
May 2, 2021 via KPMG – Insights
The U.S. Tax Court today (May 2) issued a memorandum GFN in a case concerning the valuation of an estate of a performance artist. The estate and the IRS agreed on the value of many assets, but continue to dispute the value of three intangible assets.

Twisted Sister Awarded $A1.5m From Clive Palmer Over Copyright Claim
April 30, 2021 via Radio New Zealand – World Headlines
An Australian court has ordered mining magnate and politician Clive Palmer to pay $A1.5 million ($NZ1.6m) to the record label of heavy metal act Twisted Sister.

UMG Sues Bang Energy for Copyright Infringement on TikTok
April 29, 2021 via Bloomberg Law – News Top Stories (subscription may be required)
Bang Energy and its chief executive officer, Jack Owoc, “brag loudly” that their videos on the social media platform TikTok have attracted billions of views, a new lawsuit says, but they’ve “been silent” since some of the world’s leading record labels and music publishers demanded an explanation for their unauthorized.

Musicians Ask Spotify to Publicly Abandon Controversial Speech Recognition Patent
May 4, 2021 via Yahoo! News
At the start of the year, Spotify secured a patent for a voice recognition system that could detect the “emotional state,” age and gender of a person and use that information to make personalized listening recommendations. As you might imagine, the possibility that the company was working on a technology.


Non-Fungible Tokens

Kwity Paye to Release 1-of-a-Kind NFT After Being Selected in 2021 NFL Draft
April 29, 2021 via Bleacher Report
Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye will release the first collegiately licensed football NFT (non-fungible token) as soon as he’s selected in the 2021 NFL draft, which starts Thursday night (April 29). ESPN’s Adam Schefter provided details about the 1-of-1 NFT, which will benefit the Uniform Funding Foundation.

Sellers Beware: Can NFTs Be Regulated Securities?
April 28, 2021 via Crowdfund Insider
The sudden prevalence of Non-Fungible Tokens has raised important legal considerations for issuers and purchasers alike. While intellectual property rights remain essential, securities laws should not be overlooked. Non-Fungible Tokens, or “NFTs”, are digital assets with unique identifying characteristics that distinguish one from another.

eBay Looking to Adopt Crypto, NFTs – CEO
May 3, 2021 via Cryptopolitan
Leading e-commerce firm eBay is planning to adopt cryptocurrency and is currently exploring several means to add digital currencies as a method of payment on its platform. Jamie Iannone, Chief Executive Officer of eBay disclosed this.

StarColl Celebrates Star Wars Day With NFT Collection
May 4, 2021 via Yahoo! News
StarColl has announced its partnership with the world of Star Wars to release a set of private non-fungible tokens on its digital marketplace. The NFT platform announced it will be releasing a collection of 800 limited edition collectibles as digital mimics.


Right of Publicity

Image Rights Bill for College Athletes Backed
April 27, 2021 via Daily Journal of Commerce – Seattle
U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a former Ohio State football player, reintroduced on Monday a bipartisan bill that would give college athletes the right to earn money through endorsements and sponsorship deals. Gonzalez, R-Ohio, and Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., co-sponsored the Student Athlete Level Playing Field Act.

Louisiana Bill Would Grant Image Rights to Student Athletes
April 30, 2021 via New Orleans WDSU 6 – Top Stories
Louisiana state senators are moving forward with legislation that would allow college student athletes to earn money for use of their name, image or likeness. The bill is prompted by the NCAA’s inaction on a policy for endorsements and sponsorship deals.

Top Female Athletes Jump in on Releasing NFTs
April 30, 2021 via Bitcoin
Athletes and entertainers announcing new non-fungible token (NFT) releases have recently become a near daily occurrence. Sports agency Wasserman announced last week that several of their top-tier female athletes will be the forefront of a new NFT release, including US Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe and 11th-time WNBA All-Star.

NCAA Prez Emmert Given Extension Through 2025
April 28, 2021 via Business Google News
NCAA president Mark Emmert has received a contract extension through 2025, a move that was unanimously approved by the association’s board of governors.

Legislature Passes Bill Allowing College Athletes to Earn Money
April 30, 2021 via Nashville Post
Tennessee lawmakers last week gave final approval to a bill that will allow athletes at the University of Tennessee, the University of Memphis, Vanderbilt University and other colleges in the state to earn money off their name, image and likeness.

South Carolina Lawmakers Approve Bill Allowing College Athletes to Make Money From Names, Images
April 28, 2021 via The Hill
The South Carolina State House on Wednesday (April 28) passed a bill that would allow college athletes to be paid for the use of their names and images, sending the legislation to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Entertainment

Thunderbird Entertainment Group Reports on Q1 2022 Results

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Thunderbird Entertainment Group Reports on Q1 2022 Results

Q1 2022 Revenue $35.1 million, 77% year-over-year increase

Q1 2022 Adjusted EBITDA $6.3 million, 31% year-over-year increase

27 shows in production; 12 IP or Partner-Managed

Conference call and webcast scheduled for November 29 at 8 a.m. PT/ 11 a.m. ET

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, November 24, 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV: TBRD, OTCQX: THBRF) (Thunderbird or the Company) today announced its financial results for Q1 2022, which ended September 30, 2021, and provided a corporate update.

Financial Highlights

  • Revenue was $35.1 million for the three months ended September 30, 2021, as compared to $19.8 million for the comparative period of fiscal 2021, an increase of $15.3 million (77%). The majority of this increase over the comparative period in 2021 is related to growth in production service projects and due to the delivery of the live-action series Strays for CBC.

  • Adjusted EBITDA was $6.3 million for the three months ended September 30, 2021, as compared to $4.8 million for the comparative period of fiscal 2021, an increase of $1.5 million (31%).

  • Free cash flow was $3.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2021, as compared to $1.2 million for the comparative period of fiscal 2021, an increase of $2.2 million (183%).

“Content remains king and Thunderbird is laying the foundation to sustainably grow with the ever-increasing demand. With quality as our North Star and our focus on maintaining a culture that is diverse, inclusive and promotes excellence, Thunderbird will continue to lead in delivering premium content to our partners, further driving shareholder value,” said Jennifer Twiner McCarron, Thunderbird CEO.

Thunderbird’s Q1 2022 Corporate Highlights

  • At September 30, 2021, the Company had 27 programs in various stages of production. Twelve of these projects are Company IP or partner-managed service productions where the Company receives a percentage of certain revenue streams.

  • The Company’s productions currently air on Netflix, Peacock, Nickelodeon, Apple, Sony, PBS, Bell Media’s Discovery, Disney+, Corus Entertainment and the CBC, among others.

  • In Q1, the Kids and Family Division, Atomic Cartoons (“Atomic”) was in various stages of production on 16 animated television series/programs and two animated feature-length films, 18 productions in total. These programs reflect a blend of both partner-managed and service-based work.

  • During Q1, work produced by Atomic included: Mighty Express debuting its fourth season exclusively on Netflix; the Lego Star Wars: Terrifying Tales special streaming on Disney+; Season 4 of Trolls: TrollsTopia streaming on Peacock and Hulu; Marvel’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends — the first full-length Marvel series for preschoolers — premiering on Disney Channel and Disney Junior; and Curious George: Cape Ahoy debuting on Peacock.

  • In Q1, the Factual Division, Great Pacific Media (“GPM”), was in production on eight series and/or documentaries: Highway Thru Hell (Season 11), Heavy Rescue: 401 (Season 7), Mud Mountain Haulers (Season 2), Deadman’s Curse (working title) (Season 1), Good job (Season 1), Styled (working title) (Season 1), Dr. Savannah: Wild Rose Vet (Season 1) in conjunction with Wapanatahk Media, and The Teenager And The Lost Mayan City (working title).

  • Subsequent to Q1, GPM announced it has partnered with director, writer and producer Brad Peyton and visionary physicist Michio Kaku for its new series in development, If: Imagine the Impossible. This series is based on Underknown’s What If, which is a top ranked science program on social media.

  • In Q1, Thunderbird also announced Reginald the Vampire, its new fully-owned scripted series starring Spider-Man’s Jacob Batalon. Reginald the Vampire was picked up in a straight-to-series 10-episode order by SyFy and is being co-produced with Modern Story Company and December Films.

  • Also, in Q1, Strays, the spin-off series from Kim’s Convenience, premiered on CBC.

Results of Operations

For the three months ended

Sept 30,
2021

Sept 30,
2020

($000’s, except per share data)

$

$

Revenue

35,072

19,790

Expenses

33,186

18,321

Net income from continuing operations

1,886

1,469

Loss from discontinued operation

(80

)

Net income for the period

1,886

1,389

Foreign currency translation adjustment

6

(3

)

Loss on translation of discontinued operation

(44

)

Comprehensive income for the period

1,892

1,342

Basic income per share – continuing operations

0.039

0.031

Diluted income per share – continuing operations

0.037

0.030

Basic loss per share – discontinued operation

(0.002

)

Diluted loss per share – discontinued operation

(0.002

)

EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow

For the three months ended

Sept 30,
2021

Sept 30,
2020

($000’s)

$

$

Net income from continuing operations

1,886

1,469

Income tax expense

765

318

Deferred income tax expense

113

60

Finance costs

Interest

413

477

Dividends on preferred shares

11

18

Amortization

Property and equipment

1,011

324

Right-of-use assets

1,478

1,923

Intangible assets

68

67

3,859

3,187

EBITDA

5,745

4,656

Share-based compensation

275

119

Unrealized foreign exchange (gain) loss

3

(285

)

Severance costs

208

283

Other

70

556

117

Adjusted EBITDA

6,301

4,773

Cash (outflows) inflows from continuing operations

(936

)

1,514

Purchase of property and equipment

(1,043

)

(268

)

Net advances (repayment) of interim production financing

5,416

(18

)

Free Cash Flow

3,437

1,228

Conference Call Webcast on Monday, November 29 at 8 a.m. PT/ 11 a.m. ET

Thunderbird will hold a conference call and webcast to share the Company’s Q1 financial results on November 29, 2021 at 8 a.m. PT/ 11 a.m. ET. The conference call will be webcast live and available for replay via the “Investors” section of the Thunderbird website.

Conference Call and Webcast Access:

Toll-free dial-in number: (833) 900-1530
International dial-in number: (236) 712-2271
Conference ID: 2977972
Webcast: https://events.q4inc.com/attendee/624790123

Participants joining by phone are requested to call the conference line 10 minutes early to avoid wait times while connecting to the call. The conference call will be webcast live and available for replay via the “Investors” section of the Thunderbird website. Investors can access a replay of the teleconference at: (+1) 416-621-4642 or toll-free at (+1) 800-585-8367 three hours after the call’s completion. The Conference ID # is 2977972. The teleconference replay will be available through December 13, 2021.

For information on Thunderbird and to subscribe to the Company’s investor list for news updates, go to www.thunderbird.tv.

ABOUT THUNDERBIRD ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
Thunderbird Entertainment Group is a global award-winning, full-service multiplatform production, distribution and rights management company, headquartered in Vancouver, with additional offices in Los Angeles, Toronto, and Ottawa. Thunderbird creates award-winning scripted, unscripted, and animated programming for the world’s leading digital platforms, as well as Canadian and international broadcasters. Thunderbird’s vision is to produce high quality, socially responsible content that makes the world a better place. The Company develops, produces, and distributes animated, factual, and scripted content through its various divisions, including Thunderbird Kids and Family (Atomic Cartoons), and Thunderbird Factual and Scripted (Great Pacific Media). The Company also has a division dedicated to global distribution and consumer products. Thunderbird is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @tbirdent. For more information, visit: www.thunderbird.tv.

On Behalf of Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.

Jennifer Twiner McCarron
Chief Executive Officer

Neither the TSX-V nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX-V) accepts responsibility of the adequacy or accuracy of this release, which has been prepared by management.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release includes certain “forward-looking statements” under applicable Canadian securities legislation that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results, performance, prospects, and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the Company’s objectives, goals or future plans and the business and operations of the Company. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based on a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general business, economic and social uncertainties; litigation, legislative, environmental and other judicial, regulatory, political and competitive developments; those additional risks set out in the Company’s Filing Statement and other public documents filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com; and other matters discussed in this news release. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Except where required by law, the Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

NON-IFRS MEASURES
In addition to the results reported in accordance with IFRS, the Company uses various non-IFRS financial measures which are not recognized under IFRS, as supplemental indicators of our operating performance and financial position. These non-IFRS financial measures are provided to enhance the user’s understanding of our historical and current financial performance and our prospects for the future. Management believes that these measures provide useful information in that they exclude amounts that are not indicative of our core operating results and ongoing operations and provide a more consistent basis for comparison between periods. The following discussion explains the Company’s use of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, and Free Cash Flow as measures of performance.

“EBITDA” is calculated based on earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization. “Adjusted EBITDA” is calculated based on EBITDA before share-based compensation, unrealized foreign exchange gain/loss and items of an unusual or one-time nature that do not reflect our ongoing operations. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are commonly reported and widely used by investors and lenders as an indicator of a company’s operating performance and ability to incur and service debt, and as a valuation metric. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not earnings measures recognized by IFRS and therefore do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. Therefore, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers.

“Free Cash Flow” (“FCF”) is calculated based on cash flows from operations, purchase of property and equipment and net interim production financing. FCF represents the cash a company generates after accounting for cash outflows to support operations and maintain its capital assets.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211124006270/en/

Contacts

Investor Relations:
Glen Akselrod, Bristol Capital
Phone: + 1 905.326.1888 ext 1
Email: glen@bristolir.com

Media Relations:
Julia Smith, Finch Media
Phone: +1604.803.0897
Email: julia@finchmedia.net

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Entertainment

LOOKING BACK IN LITCHFIELD: New theater announces opening in 1936 | Entertainment

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LOOKING BACK IN LITCHFIELD: New theater announces opening in 1936 | Entertainment

Editor’s note: Welcome to a new feature that looks at Litchfield history, from the perspective of a native of the area. Terry Shaw is a sort of unofficial recorder of Litchfield history, having researched and written two books — Terry Tales” and “Terry Tales II” — of his remembrances of growing up here. In recent years, Shaw has made daily posts on the Old Litchfield & Meeker County Facebook page. This new column will include snippets of history from both his books and Facebook posts.

  • The original owner of the land where Litchfield’s downtown now stands, George Baker Waller Sr., deeded one-half interest in 150 acres of his land to the railroad company to plat a town upon, and upon which a part of the original township was laid out in July of 1869. Waller moved his family here in November of 1869. Could we have been named Waller, Minnesota?
  • On Nov. 3, 1881, a grand opening ball was held on the main floor of the new Howard House hotel located at the north corner of West Depot and North Sibley. In November of 1978, the Bachman Construction Co. of Hutchinson bought the vacant building and lot. An auction was held of all the furniture and fixtures. What wasn’t sold, unfortunately, was thrown away, except for a few treasures my friend Pete Hughes had been given by one-time manager Vic Forte. Those treasures are on display at the Meeker County Historical Society (G.A.R. Hall). The hotel was torn down in December.
  • The G.A.R. Hall was dedicated on Nov. 14, 1885. One week after the dedication, on Nov. 21, 1885, the members deeded the Memorial Hall, as they called it, to the Village of Litchfield with the stipulation that it be kept as it was “in memory of the 300,000 soldiers who fell in defense of the Union” and be opened to the public for reading. So, the Hall naturally became the first public library in Meeker County. You can visit the hall for free (a donation is asked) and see it just like it was more than a century ago. The meeting room still contains the “kitchen chairs” each member brought from home to sit on at meetings.
  • The new Litchfield Opera House was designed by architect William T. Towner and built in late 1900. Opening night was Thursday, Nov. 8, 1900. The William Owens’ traveling troupe performed “The Marble Heart” that night.
  • In November 1925, a cross was burned on the lawn between Norwegian Reverend Martinus O. Silseth’s and lawyer Nelson Daniel March’s houses on Sibley Avenue South, only a block and a half from the railroad tracks. Litchfield had a 100 members strong chapter of the KKK back then. Not all of our news of the past is something we can be proud of.
  • Remembering that Electus Darwin Litchfield’s son was an architect, our town petitioned the government to have him design our new U.S. Post Office. Washington, D. C., gave the job to the son in November 1933, and so the son of Litchfield’s namesake designed that brick building on the northwest corner of East Second Street and North Marshall Avenue that is still used as our Post Office today.
  • Calvin Franklin “Frank” Schnee built the Hollywood Theater and opened it on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1936. On the Grand Opening night, the movie shown was “Libeled Lady,” starring Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Spencer Tracy. Adult tickets were 35 cents and children’s tickets were a dime. It had “mirrophonic sound.” The opening night souvenir program told the patrons to leave their names with the usher or usherette if they were doctors, nurses, or professional people. Generally, these people would call the telephone office and tell the operator they were attending movies at the Hollywood Theater. Then if someone called the operator needing a doctor, the operator would call the movie theater and the usherette would be directed to get the physician and give him the message. The new building included a soundproof cry room for parents with young children. As with the Unique Theater, also run by the Schnee family, children under 12 were encouraged to sit in the first six rows. The water fountain with an electric eye was activated by bending down to it. Usherettes wore navy blue skirts with a gold trimmed red jacket and a pill box hat. The Schnees had quite a reputation for cleanliness. They did not allow popcorn in the theater until later years.
  • On a Sunday morning in November 1940, 56-year-old Walter Johnson, his wife and 18-year-old Walter Jr. were hit by the west bound Great Northern Empire Builder at the Armstrong Avenue crossing in Litchfield on their way to church. Eight-foot high snowbanks had blocked their view and Walter’s car got stuck in the deep, ice-filled ruts of the crossing’s approach. Walter’s son Bob was walking home from an earlier church service and had stopped at the Traveler’s Inn to warm up. He heard the train’s whistle blow and turned to look from the café’s doorway just in time to see his dad’s car being tossed into the air. He ran to the Sibley Avenue crossing, where the car had ended up, and saw his father dead in the car and his brother and mother laying on the gravel. Help came and Rosalind and Junior were taken to the hospital.

Bob ran back to the church and came in during the middle of the sermon. He found his other brothers, ran to their pew, and he told them the news. They all ran out of the church. Others in the church had overheard what Bob had told his brothers, and they stood and told the preacher who stopped the service. Walter’s wife survived but Junior died later that day at the hospital. Rosalind spent five months in the hospital. George, who had a house of his own, moved back home to help raise the other kids. The sons got together and decided to not let the tragedy stop the company’s growth. Abe dropped out of college and came home to pick up the slack in the company. Walter’s son Jim, who had taken over as the manager of the company, told Abe, “Dad had a plan about you goin’ to college and we’re gonna keep with Dad’s plans. You’re goin’ back to school.” Abe finished up at Harvard majoring in business. The company, of course, was the world-famous Johnson Brothers Construction Co.

  • My youngest brother, Patrick Francis “Pat” Shaw was born on Nov. 19, 1946, in the Meeker County Hospital (the old one).
  • Eighteen-year-old James Henry “Jim” Bachman, home on leave from the Army on Nov. 1, 1957, tried to beat the train at the Sibley Avenue crossing with his beautiful fender skirted ’49 Chevy at 4:35 p.m. that day. Fifteen-year-old Lyle Allen Rosenow witnessed the accident and told the police that Bachman took off south from the traffic light by the hotel and never slowed down for the tracks, even though the signal lights were flashing. Bachman had just dropped 13-year-old David Charles Lindell off at his home at 4:30 p.m. Ironically, David would be killed in a traffic accident five years later.
  • Michael Scott “Mick” Weber had his dad Clarence Peter Weber’s brand new 1960 Plymouth Valiant at school on Friday, Nov. 3, 1961. Clarence Weber had bought the car for his oldest son, Jack, to set him up in a taxi business. Mick Weber had promised to give football teammates Ralph Koelln and Kenny Fenner, Police Chief George Fenner’s son, a ride home after school at three o’clock. They had a football game that night and wanted some time at home first. Ralph and Kenny went to the school parking lot and found Clarence’s car and got in, waiting for Mick, who had given them the car keys. Mick never showed up. For some reason, he had forgotten about the arrangement and had walked uptown.
  • Along came my friend, Jerry Aloysius Wimmer. “What’s up guys?” Jerry asked. They told him and the three of them concocted a scheme where Ralph would drive Kenny home, drive himself home from Kenny’s and then turn the car over to Jerry and have him return it to the parking lot and explain it all to Mick, who would have realized his mistake by then and gone back to school. Jerry was an amazing athlete, but a terrible driver. Everything went well dropping off Ralph and Kenny, but as Jerry’s luck would have it, driving back to the school alone, he managed to stall the car right in the middle of the Holcombe Avenue railroad crossing. He put the car in park and tried over and over to get the ignition to fire. Nothing happened. Hearing an oncoming freight train, Jerry panicked, and he jumped out of the car. He tried to push the car off the tracks, first from the front of the car, and then from the rear. Unfortunately, he had forgotten that he had put the car in park and that’s why it wouldn’t budge. Jerry was very excitable. I can just imagine what he went through, struggling to push that car, his face turning redder than his bright red-orange hair. He must have finally realized that there was nothing he could do because he wisely turned and ran, just as the horn-blasting and speeding Great Northern freight train plowed into the “borrowed” car.

The train slammed the Valiant into the automatic crossing signal lights, shearing them off their standard. The car sailed another 50 yards before it came to a rest beside the tracks and up against the rest of the train that had finally come to a screeching halt. Jerry just stood there, paralyzed, staring at the car. He must have been thinking, “My life is over. I’m dead. They will put me in jail.” Before long, people ran up, asking Jerry if he was OK. He just stood there, mumbling, staring at the car, and crying. After he had completely broken down, he was taken to the doctor, who sedated him. Jerry, the football team’s star QB couldn’t play that night either and Litchfield got beat bad. Jerry was never the same after that and all of us, to this day, are a little more cautious when we drive across a railroad track crossing.

  • Litchfield Coin-Operated Dry Cleaners owners Ed Fitzloff and his wife were on their way home to Hutchinson from Litchfield when a train at the Sibley Avenue crossing killed them both in November of 1963.
  • 1936 Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress and Litchfield born, Gale Sondergaard was performing at the Guthrie Theater in 1967 and she made a trip out to Litchfield one day in November of that year. She visited friends, stood in the bandstand for a while, and then she spoke for about an hour to the high school Thespian Club, which had been named after her. Gale did a few more movies in the ’70s, including “A Man Named Horse,” before her death in 1985.
  • On Nov. 1, 1968, a Litchfield man, who survived six months of precarious mine detection duty with the U.S. Army combat engineers without incurring a scratch, was killed instantly at 6 o’clock in the morning when his car was struck by a Great Northern freight train at the Sibley Avenue crossing. His name was Wayne Henry Heyer, and he was the 21-year-old son of Henry Harlen and Ellen W. Heyer. Wayne, a 1965 graduate of LHS, was discharged from the Army on July 2 after serving 16 months in Vietnam, the last six months on mine detection duty. The day before the accident, he had just completed his first day of work as a construction worker at Litchfield’s new Ripley Elementary School and was on his way to work again when the accident happened.
  • On Tuesday, Nov. 18, 1986, my brother Mike Shaw, Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, Howard Holtz (who was Mike’s “heart-lung machine during Mick’s world-famous operation), and my mother were reunited in Litchfield for the filming of a BBC and Boston PBS Nova documentary about the developments in surgery since the end of World War II. Mike had had the first successful open-heart surgery which had been invented by Dr Lillehei of the Heart Hospital in Minneapolis. Mick and Dr. Lillehei were filmed walking through Central Park. Then the entire group was filmed sitting around our mother’s kitchen table discussing the operation.
  • Most of us can remember the famous Halloween blizzard that happened on Nov. 3, 1991.
  • Longtime Carnegie Library head librarian Gertrude Johnson died in November 2008. Her son Jim asked me to sing at her funeral at the Ness Church. It was then that I found out that she had been baptized, confirmed, married, and then buried at that same church.
  • In November 2019, the Worden mink farm finally went out of business. Of course, the closing of the business was the result of the change in people’s attitudes towards wearing furs among other things.
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Claus for Celebration: Holiday calendar is packed; check out our list | Entertainment/Life

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Claus for Celebration: Holiday calendar is packed; check out our list | Entertainment/Life

With Santa and spirits bright, parades and pretty lights, music and mistletoe — south Louisiana switches into full holiday mode starting Friday.

In the Baton Rouge and Acadiana areas, there are diverse events, both secular and religious, planned from now into the new year.

Take your pick and make some Christmas memories.

FRIDAY-DEC. 30

ZOOLIGHTS: Gates open 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., grounds close at 9 p.m., BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo, 3601 Thomas Road. Presented by Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, this mile-long trail through the zoo offers 50-plus illuminated display sculptures of animals and traditional holiday displays. Adults/teens, $5; seniors, $4; ages 2-12, $3; Friends of the Zoo members, $3.​ 50% discount with donation of a non-perishable food item to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. brzo.org.

THROUGH DEC. 31

HOLIDAY LIGHTS: 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily, Baton Rouge General – Bluebonnet, 8585 Picardy Ave. Walk through or drive through this display of more than 400,000 twinkling, singing and musically synchronized lights. brgeneral.org.

SATURDAY

TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tanger Outlets Gonzales, 2100 Tanger Blvd. Lighting of the new, 36-foot holiday tree, holiday music, food trucks, face painting, photo booth and sweet treats. Free.

SUNDAY

CREOLE CHRISTMAS + HOLIDAY FAIR: noon to 5 p.m., Magnolia Mound, 2161 Nicholson Drive. Seasonal decorations in the historic house, traditional songs in French and Spanish sung by local schoolchildren, period demonstrations, folk crafts, and the annual bonfire to welcome Papa Noel.

LAND OF THE SWEETS TEA: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Lod Cook Alumni Center, 3938 W. Lakeshore Drive. Tea treats, drinks and crafts. Also, young guests can learn choreography from Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s “Nutcracker, A Tale From the Bayou,” even joining in the dance with their favorite characters. batonrougeballet.org.

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY, DEC. 1-2

GEORGE BELL AND FRIENDS – AN EVENING OF HOLIDAY JAZZ: 7:30 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. $45 at manshiptheaatre.org.

THURSDAY, DEC. 2

HOLIDAY BRASS: 7:30 p.m., St. Joseph Cathedral, 401 Main St. Concert featuring the full Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra brass and percussion. Tickets are $30 at ovationtix.com or by calling the BRSO box office at (225) 383-0500 extension 100.

THURSDAY, DEC. 2-SUNDAY, DEC. 12

“THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER”: 7 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, Pasqua Theatre, 823, Felicity St., Gonzales. An Ascension Community Theatre production. $25, adults; $22.50, seniors; and $15, children. actgonzales.org.

FRIDAY, DEC. 3

DOWNTOWN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., North Boulevard Town Square. Lighting of the 35-foot Christmas tree, music, fireworks, ice skating and more. downtownbatonrouge.org.

LIVE NATIVITY: 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., First Presbyterian Church garden, 763 North Blvd. Thirty-minute reenactment of the birth of Jesus Christ as told in the Gospels.

REINDEER RIDE: 6 p.m., Farr Park, 6402 River Road. Eight-mile family bicycle ride to Downtown Festival of Lights.

CHRISTMAS CONCERT: 7 p.m., First Presbyterian Church sanctuary, 763 North Blvd. Featuring Michael O’Brien and the Foto Sisters.

SATURDAY, DEC. 4

A VERY MERRY MUSEUM: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Louisiana Art & Science Museum, 100 S. River Road. Festive activities throughout the day, along with holiday-themed planetarium shows. Adults, $12; children (3-12) and seniors (65+), $10; and members, free. lasm.org.

A HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., along Railroad Avenue, downtown Plaquemine. Local vendors, music, food and kids’ rides. Free event hosted by Plaquemine Main Street and We Are The Difference. visitibervile.com.

A JANE AUSTEN CHRISTMAS: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oakley House, Audubon State Historic Site, 11788 La. 965, near St. Francisville. Costumed guides accompany the visitor in a trip into the past through the candlelit Oakley House, decked out for Christmas. Dance hosted by The Lagniappe Historic Dance & Pastime Society; music by the Lagniappe Dulcimers. Chestnuts will be roasting and wassail served.

CHRISTMAS IN CENTRAL PARADE: 11 am, Joor Road.

BROADMOOR’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARADE: noon, from Broadmoor High School, 10100 Goodwood Blvd.

HOLIDAY BRASS: 7:30 p.m., Whimsical Alley, 4512 Virginia St., Zachary. Outdoor concert featuring the full Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra brass and percussion. Tickets are $30 at ovationtix.com or by calling the BRSO box office at (225) 383-0500 extension 100.

SUNDAY, DEC. 5

HOLIDAY BRASS: 4:30 p.m., Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, 40136 La. 942, Darrow. Outdoor concert featuring the full Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra brass and percussion. Tickets are $30 and $50 at ovationtix.com or by calling the BRSO box office at (225) 383-0500 extension 100.

DEC. 6-28

MESSENGERS’ CHRISTMAS LAND: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., 9481 Prince Charles St., Denham Springs. A family tradition since 1964, the sprawling yard and garage display features lights, homemade animated scenes, a timeline and even the North Pole. Free.

TUESDAY, DEC. 7

HOLIDAY MUSIC CONCERT: 7 p.m., Jones Creek Regional Branch Library, 6222 Jones Creek Road. Performing will be local five-piece instrumental and vocal group Jemini Venture, playing a diverse cross-section of genres on acoustic instruments.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8

VENDORS AT THE VILLAGE: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Acadian Village Shopping Center, Perkins Road at Acadian Thruway. Seasonal specials, local handmade items, refreshments, live music, caroling and Santa Claus.

FRIDAY, DEC. 10

HOLIDAY BRASS: 7:30 p.m., Hemingbough, 10101 La. 965, St. Francisville. Outdoor concert featuring the full Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra brass and percussion. Tickets are $30 at ovationtix.com or by calling the BRSO box office at (225) 383-0500 extension 100.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY, DEC. 10-19

“CHARLES DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL”: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, Theatre Baton Rouge, 7155 Florida Blvd. $30. theatrebr.org/tickets.

SATURDAY, DEC. 11

COUNTRY CHRISTMAS PARADE: 1 p.m., Morganza. Fire trucks, marching bands, arts/crafts, food vendors, Santa Claus and more.

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DENHAM SPRINGS CHRISTMAS PARADE: 2 p.m., starting from Denham Springs High School, 1000 N. Range Ave., to Veterans Boulevard.

CHRISTMAS BOZAAR: 4 p.m., John Schneider Studios, 16050 Florida Blvd., Holden. Includes concert with John Schneider and the Stars N’ Bars Band and screening on the film, “Christmas Cars.” etix.com.

70th ANNUAL CORTANA KIWANIS CHRISTMAS PARADE: 5:30 p.m., downtown Baton Rouge. See route map and more at christmasinbr.com.

CHRISTMAS CONCERT: 6 p.m., Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church, 8742 Scenic Highway. Special guests will be the group Authentically Anointed.

LIGHTED CHRISTMAS PARADE & GIFT FAIR: 6:30 p.m., Livingston. Route is from Hilltop and F Street to downtown.

SUNDAY, DEC. 12

JAMBALAYA FESTIVAL ASSOCIATION CHRISTMAS PARADE: 1 p.m., Gonzales. With the theme “Gingerbread Village,” the parade will roll from Irma Boulevard along East Sanders Street and South Sandra Avenue.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: 7:30 p.m., Istrouma Baptist Church, 10500 Sam Rushing Drive. Concert featuring the full Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and soloists. $19-$65 at ovationtix.com or by calling the BRSO box office at (225) 383-0500 extension 100.

TUESDAY, DEC. 14

HOLIDAY MUSIC WITH MIKE ANDERSON THE DULCIMER GUY: 3:30 p.m., Main Library at Goodwood, 7711 Goodwood Blvd.

CAROLS IN THE GARDEN: 6:30 p.m., Ascension Parish Library, 708 S. Irma Blvd., Gonzales. Caroling, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus. (225) 647-3955.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY, DEC. 17-19

CHRISTMAS ON COURT ST.: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Port Allen. Live music, craft vendors, carnival rides, food, drinks and bonfire on the levee from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

DEC. 17-JAN. 3

ICE SKATING ON THE RIVER: Times TBA, Raising Cane’s River Center Arena, 275 S. River Road. raisingcanesrivercenter.com or (225) 389-3030.

SATURDAY, DEC. 18

WALKER CHRISTMAS PARADE: 11 a.m., from Walker High School, 12646 Burgess Ave. Floats, marching bands, antique cars and horses.

ST. ALBAN’S UKULELE ORCHESTRA: 12:30 p.m., Plaza at Main Library at Goodwood, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Free holiday performance.

CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sidney Hutchinson Park, 13750 Ball Park Road, Walker. Farmers market, Christmas music, photos with Santa, food trucks and lots of seasonal activities.

LEGENDS OF CHRISTMAS: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. Performances by Circus Louisiana, GymFit-Adventure Community Center and Bayou Cirque. $30. manshiptheatre.org.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY, DEC. 18-19

“THE HOLIDAY NUTCRACKER”: 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, Brown Holt Theatre, The Dunham School, 11236 Roy Emerson Drive. A Cangelosi Dance Project production. $20 and up. https://cangelosidanceproject.com/.

“NUTCRACKER — A TALE FROM THE BAYOU”: 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Raising Cane’s River Center Ballroom, 275 S. River Road. A Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre production. $30-$65 at ticketmaster.com.

SUNDAY, DEC. 19

BRUNCH WITH SANTA: 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. or noon: The Legacy at Bonne Esperance, 1655 Sherwood Forest Blvd. Buffet: Free, 1 year old and younger; $15, 2-12 years; $25, 12 years and older at eventbrite.com.

ACADIANA

THURSDAY, DEC. 2

EVENING HOLIDAY MARKET: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Moncus Park, Lafayette. Presented by Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market Holiday. Music by the Magnolia Sisters, a s’mores corner, and Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Dec. 3-19

“AN ACADIANA CHRISTMAS CAROL”: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays,  Cité des Arts, 109 Vine St., Lafayette. $20; opening night gala, $45. citedesarts.org.

SATURDAY, DEC. 4

LIGHTING OF THE TREE CONCERT: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Parc International, 200 Garfield St., Lafayette. Presented by The Evangeline Bank and Trust Co. Music by Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band.

SUNDAY, DEC. 5

SONIC CHRISTMAS PARADE: 1 p.m., Lafayette. Route from Jefferson Street, passing through downtown and to the Oil Center. Followed by official after party at 2 p.m. in Parc International, 200 Garfield St.

SATURDAY, DEC. 11

43rd ANNUAL QUEEN CITY CHRISTMAS PARADE: 5:30 p.m., New Iberia’s historic district. This year, the street parade down Main Street will be followed by a boat parade on Bayou Teche and fireworks. BayouTraditions.com.

MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., AA Comeaux Park, 300 AA Comeaux Memorial Drive, Abbeville. Enjoy a drive-through Christmas experience with a holiday light trail around the park’s circle. Trolley transportation will be available to the park from Magdalen Square following the town’s Christmas Parade. The event is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana. Tickets $10-$25 can be purchased at https://makingspiritisbright.eventbrite.com.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY, DEC. 11-12

“THE NUTCRACKER”: 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Heymann Performing Arts Center, 1373 S. College Road, Lafayette. A Lafayette Ballet Theatre production. $25-$58 at ticketmaster.com.

SUNDAY, DEC. 12

GINGERBREAD WORKSHOP: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., Wonderland Performing Arts, 2807 Johnston St., Lafayette. Presented by Storybook Events, Twin’s Bakery and Wonderland. Gingerbread house kits, cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate and photos with Santa. $100 per table of 4 at https://wonderland.booktix.com.

DEC. 16-29

CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Moncus Park, 2913 Johnston St., Lafayette. Live music, activities for the whole family, visit from Santa, Christmas market and general store, selfie stations, live art installation, local food vendors and more. moncuspark.org.

Don’t see your holiday happening listed here? Please email the info to red@theadvocate.com and we’ll add it to our online story.

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