Sunday, August 1, 2010

Maj. Gillham goes to a "new" theater

In this letter Maj. Gillham tells of his visit to a newly renovated theater in the Ginza district.  It's interesting to note that vaudeville is still in fashion and that he uses the word "camp," which was coined in the 1910s and probably had the same meaning then that it has now.

25 Mar 46

Dearest Lovely,

Have just returned from the Ernie Pyle Theatre which is about two blocks from here.  They took over one of the best Japanese theatres and renovated it.  It is now a first-class place.  They have a vaudeville and picture, just like up town, no camp theatre stuff.  Everything here is always free -- trains, shows, refreshments, etc.  It is going to startle me when I have to pay for something again.

You have been very sweet and faithful about writing to me ever since I left.  When I don't get mail, I know it isn't because you haven't written, but just because the mail hasn't come thru.  This last batch of mail I received certainly did me a lot of good.

Hammers are ringing everywhere around here.  The tempo of reconstruction is increasing.  It is interesting to watch a city come back to life after such devastation.  I can see a great difference since I got here.

 I love you, my darling.  I can't write it as well as you do, but I love you just the same.


P.S.  The radio is playing "Goodnight Sweetheart"


The Ernie Pyle Theater was originally called the Takarazuka Theater, which was built in 1934 and was the premiere movie theater and showplace in the Ginza.  It was renamed after the Allies occupied Japan and was named for Ernie Pyle, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and war correspondent who had been killed in action during the war in the Pacific.  The theater reverted to the old name when the Occupation ended in 1955, and the structure was torn down in 1998 and replaced by another theater in ground floors of a new office building.

Ernie Pyle Theater in 1946