Over the last 86 years the Kelowna Capital News has served the Central Okanagan – and over the last 86 years it has printed a whole lot of papers. A conservative estimate puts it at around 8,000 editions.
Each Thursday we will present Cap News Throwback Thursday at kelownacapnews.com for a fun little peak into the past, and we will re-visit those editions here in print on Fridays.
Today we present the Kelowna Capital News – Wednesday May 15, 1940 edition.
Walt Disney’s Pinnochio was playing at the Empress Theatre, $150 could buy you a ‘splendid lot’ and a monster pet parade was coming up that weekend.
The lot prices of 1940 seem the most startling given the ever-increasing cost of real estate today. That $150 in 1940 is worth about $2,500 in 2017—not nearly enough to buy a decent car much less a chunk of property to call your own.
On the front page of the paper in 1940, $150 would buy interested landowners a “splendid lot in the new fast growing Simpson Subdivision.” Described as a quiet and central location, the lots were called “desirable in every way.”
If you were feeling a little more flush, $375 (about $6,500 now) would get you a lakeshore lot in the Taylor Subdivision. The lots had beautiful sandy beaches and 75 feet of lakeshore frontage.
“These lots are a sound investment,” reads the ad. A sound investment for sure, the majority of lakeshore properties in the region are now worth well over $1 million.
Walt Disney’s Pinnochio had hit the big screen in Kelowna. A notable movie as it was just the second animated feature film produced by Disney, made right after the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.
While the film became the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award—winning two for Best Music and Original Song for When You Wish Upon A Star, it was initially a box office disaster. Reports indicate it eventually made a profit in its 1945 reissue, and is now considered one of the greatest animated films ever made, with a rare 100 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
A monster pet parade was set to be a key event at Empire Day on May 24, 1940 in Kelowna City Park.
The parade was expected to “attract every child who has a pet to exhibit and under the pet heading will come everything from turtles to cats and dogs.”
The event was also going to include live performances, food, fun and dances.
Also on the big screen: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a 1939 American political comedy-drama film directed by Frank Capra, starring Jean Arthur and James Stewart. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning for Best Original Story and is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time.
The Royal Visit, a 90-minute documentary feature about the “unforgettable spectacle of a united Canada honouring its King and Queen.” The film was all about King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s trip to Canda from May 17 to June 15, 1939. They arrived in Quebec city aboard the Empress of Australia and then traveled westward by train. Stops along the westward route included Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria.
Fun fact: The City of Kelowna had turned town a proposal from Gordon D. Herbert to turn the rock pit at the foot of Ellis Street into one rather large underground cold-storage tunnel. “The council considered it had a valuable investment and did not believe it would be in the public interest to grant the lease.”
The Capital News is now owned by Black Press Community Media. Founded in 1975, Black Press now publishes more than 170 titles in British Columbia, Alberta, Washington state, Hawaii, Ohio and California.
Do you have an important date or piece of history you hope we can find in our historical editions?! Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.