My father, William Claude “Sandy” Land was manager at the Silver Theater from 1945 to the mid-1960s. I have many memories to share, from War Bond drives to Miss America contests, Halloween costume contests for all the local kids, on stage too, other varied contests with TVs or even land in Florida as prizes. Once it was even diamonds!
As a high school student at Montgomery Blair, I was frequently asked by classmates, “What’s your dad showing,” or, “when will he show a certain movie?” Every Saturday morning was “Matinee Time” and about all the kids in Silver Spring showed up. My father even said that Goldie Hawn used to come and many times he would chase her out for her loud giggle that he thought was disturbing the others. Little did he know what would become of Goldie! Don’t know if this is true, but it made a good story!
My father was active in community life in Silver Spring, also, from riding his large white horse in parades dressed like Hopalong Cassidy to being involved in Elks, Rotary, and the Board of Trade. He was both vice president and president of the latter. He also chaired the Red Cross Drive for the Silver Spring area and in 1953 was awarded the Harry Kalmine Award, by the Warner family, for Showmanship on the east coast.
He had dropped out of college in his second year to become a part of the then “growing” movie theater business, which was still in its infancy. First as usher, then captain of ushers, assistant manager and then manager. He loved the theater business and it showed in his management of the Silver.
—Sandra Land Casper
My memories of the Silver Theater were mostly in the late ’50s. The theaters decided that selling candy and popcorn, drinks, etc. was very profitable and so I got my first job working for my dad (those close to him called him Sandy) and I was behind the candy counter. It was one of my favorite jobs, as I got to flirt with all the boys and if I thought they were especially nice I would give them extra butter on their popcorn.
All of my friends would meet there Saturday afternoon and I remember it being very crowded. Very different than the movies today. My dad wore a suit and tie and all the ushers had uniforms. I liked it and have fond memories of the times that I spent with my friends there. One Halloween, he had contest there on the stage and my older sister Sandy made a Robin Hood costume for my little sister Brenda and she won one of the contests. Really fun.
—Linda Land Kyle