The News Letter Journal recently received an interesting and welcome phone call from Lorrayne Rotter Balsitis, age 92, of northern California. Balsitis, known as Lorrayne Rotter during her time in Newcastle, reads the History on Main Series each week because she still subscribes to her hometown newspaper. She was born at Salt Creek, Wyoming, but she said she moved to Newcastle around 1929 when she was just 4 years old.
The history on the Dogie Theatre sparked Balsitis’ memory. She recalls delighting in the picture show as a young girl. Balsitis said she started going to the show in 1935 when she was 10 years old, and each show cost 10 cents.
Her folks always tried to round up enough money for her to go to the movies she favored, though Balsitis explained that she had to wait until she was old enough to walk herself to and from the show and make her way home in the dark alone. Balsitis even remembers the address of her childhood home – 307 Cambria. The Dogie Theatre wasn’t under construction until 1950, so Balsitis must have gone to the Castle Theatre, which was located two doors south of the former Newcastle Drug in block 10. Balsitis remembers a time in the early 1940s when she ran around with her best girlfriend, Irene Adams, who used to work for “Shorty” Cleveland.