Alvinston “Stars of the Town” DVD
Purchase your own copy of Alvinston’s “Stars of the Town” DVD!
A screening of this film footage captured in Alvinston during the 1940s attracted more than 130 residents to a viewing at the Alvinston Library. The footage is called “Stars of the Town” and depicts everyday life in Ontario as local residents stroll the main streets and pop into local shops. The footage was shot in February 1949 by a man named LeRoy (Roy) Harold Massecar. When he was not busy in his fulltime work as a reverend, Massecar travelled across Ontario and filmed the activities in small towns between 1947 and 1949. He would show the video footage in town halls and community centres, charging a small admission for local residents to watch themselves on the silver screen.
Roy used silent, black and white 8mm film to capture approximately 100 Ontario locations. For more information on Roy’s work and for a list of all the locations that he captured on film, visit the Western Archives page on the “Stars of the Town.”
His footage was recorded in Alvinston in February 1949 and screened on March 4, 1949. Two shows ran at 7:30pm and 9:30pm and admission was forty-five cents or twenty-five cents. The Alvinston Free Press reported on the front page of the March 9 issue that the screenings were a success: “To say the least, they were a scream – one long one – each time someone did something ‘funny,’ none of which were posed for. Just the ordinary passing parade of life in a small town like Alvinston.”
Multiple public showings have been held in Lambton County to share this footage with the community. Members of the public were invited to call out names of individuals that they recognized from the footage. It was amazing to hear how many people were recognized, and how many members of the public saw friends and family in the video (some even spotted themselves!) These names have been recorded can be downloaded here. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you recognize anyone in the video and want them added to the list!