(The Beverly, other Janesville, Wisconsin,
Theaters; Kerwin Mathews; Sprawl;
 and The Automobile.)

©Ted H. Schaar 2018

Impermanence (148 pages, 8.5" x 11") begins as a search for a photograph of a Janesville, Wisconsin, movie house that was built in 1916 and demolished in 1959.  It expands to cover the history of Janesville’s movie theaters (four large indoor and two outdoor) and discovers the impact of the car and the arrival of the interstate on the city's originally bustling, now all but abandoned downtown straddling the Rock River. 

It features many rare photographs and other unusual images including risqué movie advertisements from the 1920s and pictures of Kerwin Mathews, dubbed "Janesville's only movie star" by the local newspaper.  Images (scroll down for an example) range from high school pictures and views of Mathews working on plays at Milton and Beloit Colleges to a promotional glossy of him in The Waltz King, his favorite role.

But mostly it's a story about Impermanence—what's common today is soon gone forever and sometimes not more than a memory.

The book is available at Hedberg Public Library, 316 South Main Street, Janesville, and I still have a few copies.  If you would like to purchase one, please send an e-mail to
Barnes & Noble offers an electronic version at

Impermanence Cover
Impermanence cover description
Impermanence back cover
Back cover.
Kerwin Mathews in high school
Page 79, 1943 Janesville Senior High School Phoenix.