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SCSRA/FRPA Special Events

The Harvey Girls

Our next members-only special event will be a screening of The Harvey Girls with Judy Garland.

The Movie

The Harvey Girls, (1946 Technicolor unrated) starring Judy Garland, John Hodiak, Ray Bolger, Preston Foster, Virginia O'Brien, Angela Lansbury.

On a train trip west to become a mail order bride, Susan Bradley (Judy Garland) meets a cheery crew of young women on their way to open a Harvey House restaurant at a remote whistle stop to provide good cooking and wholesome company for railway travelers. When Susan and her bashful suitor (Chill Wills) find romance daunting, Susan joins the Harvey Girls instead. The saloon across the street with its alluring worldly-wise women offers them tough competition, fair and foul, and Susan catches the eye of saloon owner Ned Trent (John Hodiak). While not historically accurate, this musical western does manage to allude to the Fred Harvey story. Ray Bolger plays bashful blacksmith Chris Maule, the irrepressible Marjorie Main is wonderful as the girls' housemother and mentor, Sonora Cassidyn, and Angela Lansbury shines as Ned Trent's saloon chanteuse.

The score is by Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren, including "It's a Great Big World," "Oh, You Kid," and the Oscar-winning "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe."

The program will include a cartoon.

The Trains

The locomotives used in the filming were Virginia & Truckee Nos. 18 (the "Dayton") and 22 (the "Inyo"), both 1870s 4-4-0 Americans operating under steam on the MGM lot in Culver City.

Fred Harvey and Harvey House Restaurants

You can't talk about the Harvey Girls without speaking of Fred Harvey. As a young immigrant, Fred started working at a fancy restaurant washing dishes. To make more money he started working as a traveling freight agent on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. The food there was horrible. People got sick and some even died from food poisoning.

Mr. Harvey decided to start a chain of restaurants along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. Harvey's first restaurant was built in the Topeka Station.

As the years went by, Harvey Houses popped up in Hutchinson and Dodge City, Kansas; Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Gallop and Santa Fe, New Mexico, plus other various places. To work in such places and to be a Harvey Girl you had to go through strict training, in Topeka, watching and learning from the experienced Harvey Girls. The training period lasted for thirty days. The service had to be fast for the diners to get back on their trains.

Thanks to Fred Harvey thousands of women had jobs. The Harvey Girls helped civilize the west.

Locally, the last Harvey House ever built was located in Los Angeles' Union Station, the still standing Barstow Station (being converted to a City Hall annex) featured a Harvey House (the "Casa del Desierto"), and the Santa Fe station in Needles featured a Harvey restaurant and hotel (the "El Garces") and is now undergoing restoration.

The Venue

The theatre is in the Fullerton Museum Center Auditorium, 301 N. Pomona Ave. (at the corner of Wilshire Ave.)

  • Enter from Wilshire through the Plaza.
  • Ample free parking is available in the parking structure across the street.
  • Seating is limited as the Auditorium is small, so we will have two shows each night as noted above.
  • If you arrive for the 6PM show and there is no seating, enjoy a leisurely dinner and come back for the 8PM show.

Getting your Complimentary Entry:

  1. Enter the theatre through the Museum patio on Wilshire, just west of the Museum main entrance
  2. There you'll receive your printed program and be directed to the show

Plan Ahead to Arrive On-time We suggest arriving between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. for the first show, and between 7:40 and 7:50 for the second show.

In fairness to those who arrive on time (not to mention the associate staffing the ticket booth for your entry, who doesn't want to miss the show), there will be no admittance to the early show after 6:10 p.m.

There will be a short introduction of the evening's films before the show starts, and your printed program will provide additional details about the films.

The first show will end at approximately 7:45 p.m., and the second show, at 10:45 p.m. Hope to see you there!


2004 The Southern California Scenic Railway Association, Inc.
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