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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The way we were: 1953 and 1956

Schoolchildren line up for the Martin Luther movie world premiere in Minnesota

Above: Children line up in a stairwell at the Lyceum Theater in Minneapolis to attend the 1953 world premiere of Martin Luther.

Martin Luther movie premiere on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Above: Three years later, at 10:30 p.m. on May 1, 1956, a crowd lined up to see the film's premiere on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The three showings that day "were crowded beyond capacity," wrote Pastor James G. Amos. He said pressure from the Roman Catholic Church prevented earlier showings of the film. "Priests forbade Roman Catholics to attend," Amos said. "To do so was to commit ... a sin of foolishness. Many Roman Catholics were present at all three shows, however."


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