Saturday matinee double features (the screening of two motion pictures for the price of one) were an industry standard in the first half of the 20th century. In 2016, the Autry National Center of the American West continues the tradition with its own Saturday matinee double features starring America's Favorite Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry. On the fourth Saturday of every other month, two Gene Autry films are screened at the museum in the Imagination Gallery's Western Legacy Theater.
Several of Gene Autry's musical B-Westerns addressed environmental issues of the time that are still important today. February's films, Back in the Saddle and Riders of the Whistling Pines, each feature a story line involving mankind's use of the land and the consequences and responsibilities involved.
In several of Gene Autry's Republic Pictures musical B-Westerns, he plays the role of Ranch Forman overseeing city folk pretending to be cowboys and cowgirls at a Dude Ranch. April's films Western Jamboree and Heart of the Rio Grande follow this plot line with plenty of hijinks and Western songs.
Theme: Leading Lady Fay McKenzie
Sierra Sue (1941)
Cowboy Serenade (1942)
Republic Pictures (64 minutes)
Republic Pictures (66 minutes)
Gene Autry's leading ladies are all beautiful gals who are smart, sassy, and full of spunk. Fay McKenzie co-starred in five Republic Pictures films with Gene in 1941 and 1942. June's films Sierra Sue and Cowboy Serenade highlight Fay's best work with Gene with plenty of music, comedy and action.
Many folks refer to July and August as the "dog days of Summer." Come cool off in the air conditioned Autry Museum for a Gene Autry Double Feature with adorable dogs. In Melody Trail Gene tangles with a kleptomaniac St. Bernard named Souvenir and in Gene Autry and the Mounties our hero must tame an outlaw Greenland Husky named King.
With the Presidential Election this year our October Gene Autry Double Feature focuses on the importance of voting. In Rovin' Tumbleweeds Gene is elected to Congress in an attempt to round-up crooked politicians in Washington D.C. and in Colorado Sunset he is elected to sheriff to cleanup an unscrupulous protective association.
The December Gene Autry Double Feature coincides with the Autry Museum's Member Appreciation Day. You'll be in a festive mood when you sing along to "What's Your Favorite Holiday" from Ridin' on a Rainbow and "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)" from The Cowboy and the Indians.