Never-before-seen, decades-old photos of Bowling Green will be displayed on the big screen at the Capitol Arts Center throughout October.

The slide show of nearly 3,500 photos from the Earl Rabold Collection exhibit what life was like in the area and downtown Bowling Green during the early 1900s.

The presentation is a part of the Capitol Arts Center’s 100th anniversary celebration of its start as a movie theater.

Ginger Knight, manager of major events for the Warren County Public Library, said downtown property owner Bobby Rabold approached them with the photos.

“I think it’s really neat to see parts of town that still look the same,” Knight said. “I kind of hope people see their grandmother in there. I think it’s exciting for people to see what we were doing 100 years ago and who the people were who came before us.”

About 15 years ago, Bobby Rabold found the thousands of negatives when he was cleaning out the Princess Building on the square. The photos were taken during the early 1900s by his late grandfather Earl David Rabold.

The negatives have since been digitized and put onto a DVD. The presentation will be available free to the public during the downtown Harvest Festival on Oct. 16 from 10 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 1 p.m.

Knight said she is also hoping to have the slide show available to the public at least one day every week during October, but that will depend on maintenance the theater is currently undergoing.

When possible, the presentation will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on select weekdays.

Several photos from the Rabold Collection are on display in the lobby of the Capitol Arts Center, in the main hallway for the Princess Building and in the Daily News’ Sunday Reader section.

“I’m just trying to share the collection with the community,” Bobby Rabold said. “I get great pleasure from looking through these photographs. It helped me connect to my grandfather. You could just see the smile on his face in the photos. I saw him in a different light, and that was very touching to me.”

He added he was very excited to see the photographs displayed on the big screen, and many older people in the community should find enjoyment in the showcase.

For further information on when the presentation will be running at the Capitol Arts Center during this month, contact Knight by calling 270-904-6040 or by emailing her at

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit

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