Thursday, January 06, 2011

What the Mickey Mouse Club Is

Here's a Mickey Mouse pop culture time capsule that dates all the way back to July of 1930.  The Fox Theater chain launched the original Mickey Mouse Clubs as special Saturday matinees all across the country and many local chapters were inaugurated throughout the spring and summer of 1930.  This particular newspaper advertisement featured the club from Hutchinson, Kansas.  Their meetings were held at that town's Fox Midland Theatre.

The ad copy provided this rather lengthy explanation of what the club was all about:
THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB is an organization for boys and girls with its own officers, creed and ritual (ceremonies,) etc. Regular weekly meetings will be held at 11:30 o'clock noon every Saturday in the form of matinee-meetings at the FOX MIDLAND Theatre, which is launching and will sponsor the Club. In addition to the special, all-different programs to be held each Saturday in the FOX MIDLAND Theatre, stunts, try-outs and contests will be staged and numerous other events, outings, etc., arranged for members. In short, there will be something doing all the time for Mickey and Minnie Mice as boys and girls who are members of the Mickey Mouse Club are known. Officers to be appointed temporarily at next Saturday's matinee-meeting are: Junior Chief Mickey Mouse; Chief Minnie Mouse; Junior Master of Ceremonies; Song Leader; Cheer Leader; Courier; Color Bearer and Two Sergeants-at-Arms. Regular elections will be held the first Saturday of each month thereafter. All boys and girls who secure membership application blanks (they are available now at any of the Official Mickey Mouse Stores listed below) and present same properly filled out at the FOX MIDLAND Theatre will, through the courtesy of the co-operating merchants or Official Mickey Mouse Stores, be admitted FREE to the first or opening Mickey Mouse Club matinee-meeting at the FOX MIDLAND at 11:30 next Saturday. So, boys and girls, you can see that filling out and filing a membership application blank right away, are important. Those who do will not only enjoy next Saturday 11:30 Mickey Mouse Club matinee free but will at the following matinee, a week from next Saturday, be given their Official Mickey Mouse Club membership cards and buttons. That's all—except to once more urge you to lose no time boys and girls, in calling at one of the Official Mickey Mouse Stores for your Mickey Mouse Club membership application blank! These are free and will be furnished you gladly. Then be sure to fill yours out and bring it with you to the FOX MIDLAND next Saturday at 11:30 so you can enjoy the First or Opening Mickey Mouse Club matinee FREE!
An advertisement for another local chapter featured the Mickey Mouse creed:
"I will be a square-shooter in my home, in school, on the playground, wherever I may be. I will be truthful and honorable and strive always to make myself a better and more useful little citizen. I will respect my elders and help the aged, the helpless and children smaller than myself. IN SHORT, I WILL BE A GOOD AMERICAN."


Tony said...

Great post as always. Wherever do you find this great stuff? (I've linked it to my July 05 Disney history page.)

Johnny Jackhammer said...

Jr. Chief Mickey Mouse: "Alright, now, see? I'm da leader of this here club that's made for you and me."

Chief Minnie Mouse: "C'mon Eddie, nobody's sitting down."

Sergeant at Arms #1: "Siddown, you guys!"

Sergeant at Arms #2: well, where IS sergeant at arms #2?

Somebody throws a Jujube. Theater owner wipes brow with hankie. Cheerleader cries. Songleader laughs through his front-toothless grin.

David said...

I have always been intrigued by the 1930s Mickey Mouse Club, and how the organization was accepted by the youth of the day. I have quite a bit of research on the early Club and have close to a three-inch stack of related newspaper material which includes articles, promos and ads, as well as around three dozen artifacts in my own collection including photos, pins, and various pieces of ephemera. Some of the more interesting items in my own collection include the order form theatre managers used to purchase Club supplies from the Disney Studio, copies of Club newsletters, and copies of the Fox News - a newspaper-type publication which showcased various theatres in the Fox chain and what types of promos they were running - several have lengthy articles on various Mickey Mouse Clubs and their activities and many of the articles include great pictures. I'd like to publish a small booklet on the history and evolution of the Club, from its inception in the summer of 1929 at the Fox Dome Theatre in Santa Monica, to its demise just before the start of WW II. Love the early Club stuff, thanks for posting the image.

Johnny Jackhammer said...

Wow, that would be a really cool book to read! Hope you publicize it throughout the Disney Fan Community so I get a chance to buy one!