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100 Years Ago in Spokane: Minnehaha Park misses its movie moment; Ex-President Taft plans Spokane trip

A well-known Broadway theater director-turned-film director, George Foster Platt, is hired to film a movie in Spokane. His plans are short-lived, however, following the fate of many film dreams in Spokane. Meanwhile, former President Taft plans a lecture at Lewis and Clark High School. (S-R archives)
A well-known Broadway theater director-turned-film director, George Foster Platt, is hired to film a movie in Spokane. His plans are short-lived, however, following the fate of many film dreams in Spokane. Meanwhile, former President Taft plans a lecture at Lewis and Clark High School. (S-R archives)

George Foster Platt, described by the Spokane Daily Chronicle as “one of the foremost directors of the theatrical profession in America,” was hired by Cathrine Curtiss to direct a new movie to be filmed at the Spokane studios at Minnehaha Park.

Platt was an experienced Broadway director who had recently made the leap to movies. He had just directed “Deliverance,” a film made in New York about Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, both of whom played themselves.

Platt said he hoped to replicate the success of “Deliverance” with his next movie, for which he apparently did not yet have a title or a subject.

“In beginning work on the present picture for Miss Cathrine Curtiss (spelled Catherine Curtis in previous stories), there is an assurance that we shall eventually have another picture quite out of the ordinary run of such presentations, and singularly significant of the marvelous development of the great northwest,” he said.

This, like so many of Spokane’s movie dreams, would not come to pass. “Deliverance” would be Platt’s final credited film.

From the lecture beat: Another U.S. president – former president William Howard Taft – was planning on visiting Spokane.

He was booked into a lecture series at Lewis and Clark High School next winter. Other names on the lecture schedule included writer Maurice Maeterlinck and humorist Irvin S. Cobb.

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