Friday Flashback #189

The news that the Westport Country Playhouse will postpone its entire 2020 season is one more sobering reminder that the coronavirus affects every aspect of life.

First opened in 1931, the one-time tannery and cider mill earned national renown as a launching pad for Broadway plays. It was one of America’s most prestigious summer stock theaters, when they were in their heyday. This year, the Playhouse looked forward to celebrating its 90th season.

Instead it will be dark. That’s happened only once before: from 1942 to 1945, during World War II. (In the early 2000s, during its renovation into a state-of-the-art theater, shows were produced elsewhere.)

As ads from its early programs show, the Westport Country Playhouse has been supported by the community for nearly a century.






Some of those advertisers are long gone. Others lasted decades more. Taylor’s, Achorn’s and Kowalsky are still around.

With our help, in 2021 the Westport Country Playhouse will be too. (Hat tip: Pat Blaufuss)

7 responses to “Friday Flashback #189

  1. Chip Stephens SHS 73

    Achorn’s Cut Rate Pharmacy…… LOL

  2. Thomas D Neilly

    I don’t know many people who remember that Cobb’s Mill Inn rented rooms and cottages, mostly to people from New York City who would come out to “the country.” Years ago I rented one of the cottages while looking for a house. It was a lovely small cottage that overlooked a pond full of ducks and geese. The first night we were there we set out a nice dinner and the candles blew out because the house was so old the wind went right through.

  3. The Red Barn ad refers to “Rooms.” So it was an inn as well at one point?

    And, interestingly, several of the ads refer to “Teas” or “Afternoon Tea” which is not something you would see typically advertised today. I guess that was more of a summertime treat or activity back then.

  4. Mary Schmerker

    Staff Photographer: Russell O. Kuhner. Now that is a familiar name.

  5. Our family used to go there for special occasion dinners and for Easter. Everything creaked and it was delightful.

  6. Rosemary Milligan

    My mother had Russell Kuhner do my photo way back in 1953-think his studio was on Main Street then, Lilly Lodge was the daughter of John Lodge and Martin Manulis went on to Hollywood as a well known director.