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January Program: Classic Movies with Bruce Henry

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

By: Dylan Bowman, HAHS Board Member

January 25, 2023

As the new year kicks off, we at the Halifax Area Historical Society are already hitting the ground running with a wide variety of monthly programs and other special events planned for 2023.

This month's program? The display of a classic film by the community-favorite, Bruce Henry.

Society Bylaw Updates

The meeting began with a reading of the recently-amended HAHS bylaws by President Ryan Bowman, who explained, in full, each change that had been made and why it was deemed necessary according to the Board. Some of these changes included:

- Periods of membership

- The addition of new membership categories

- Membership prices

- The formation of special meetings (in case circumstances require as such [i.e., the pandemic]).

- The adjustment of committees.

Thereafter, the amended bylaws were voted upon by members present in the existing audience, passing with a unanimous vote. Please contact the society for further information on the updated bylaws.

The Program Begins

Once the vote concluded, Henry took the floor. He then proceeded to tell the audience the history behind the 16mm projector; it had belonged to his neighbor and friend, Walt Donafrio. Donafrio had traveled around central Pennsylvania with the projector, displaying films at churches and other meeting houses.

Bruce Henry during his presentation.

After Donafrio's passing in 2001, Henry received the mid-1950s projector and proceeded to show films at Historical Society programs. A returning community favorite, these films are donated by another friend of Henry's, Fred Buss, who curates a library of such films in Harrisburg.

After the story ended, the lights dimmed, the popcorn and coffee were passed out and the film began. Amidst the comforting whirring and clicking of the projector sprung the pre-feature cartoon short, starring Daffy Duck, which was common in the early 1900s at theatres. Laughs resounded at the familiar sight of the black duck and his raspy voice.

The feature for the evening was "Keep 'Em Flying," (1941) starring Abbott and Costello. The charming wit and wholesome comedy of such a film always puts a smile on the face and produces a relaxing time for viewers, as was clear from last night's program.

We heartily thank Mr. Henry once more for his outstanding gift to the Historical Society in sharing these films with the community. We look forward to seeing him again this March.

If you are interested in visiting the society or any of its upcoming events, visit our Events page. We hope to see you there!

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