Boulder City Correspondence – July 2017


Snow White Sang at the Boulder Theatre

Somewhat neglected in the story of Boulder City is the fact that Boulder Dam was built not just to generate electrical power but to inspire a nation.

The architect Gordon Kaufman added the Art Deco touches to project a modern, forward-looking vision of America that was badly needed in the Great Depression. Boulder Dam was later renamed Hoover Dam, but nothing else was renamed — causing endless confusion to visitors about where Boulder Dam is.

In middle of Boulder City, which was becoming a mecca for feeling optimistic about America, Earl Brothers, an early entrepreneur with a lot of heart, built the Boulder Dam Theatre. Every year, Earl threw a party for the children of Boulder City. He had built the first and, for most citizens, the only air conditioned building in Boulder City. Although the Dam workers were his main customers, he never forgot about the kids in town, and he would often offer them a free showing of a film and throw a party for them.

Walt Disney’s first full length animated feature, Snow White, was released in 1937. Earl had Hollywood connections and invited members of the cast, including the voice of Snow White, Adriana Caselotti, and others who had done the bird sounds. The cast members eagerly came to Boulder City to see Hoover Dam, which was the the coolest tourist attraction in the country to visit in it’s day. Imagine, as a child of the Depression, sitting in air conditioned bliss as Snow White and the birds of the forest sang for you. It must have been magical!

— Alan Goya