New Documentary Covers the History of What Cheer

Casey Jarmes
The News-Review

WHAT CHEER – A new documentary covering the history of What Cheer is set to premiere at the What Cheer Opera House. This documentary, titled “What Cheer: Coal, Clay, & Community,” was directed by Jacob Glandon of Webster. Work on the documentary began in 2021, when Glandon was a student at William Penn and a professor recommended he do a project on the small town. Glandon initially planned to create a photo essay, but after speaking with the people of What Cheer, realized he needed to do a full-length documentary.

The documentary’s trailer can be found on youtube, at The trailer describes What Cheer as “a town filled with great history, forged by great people, both with triumph and perseverance. These are their stories and the stories of what it took to build this town, all starting with a dream and with action.”

“What Cheer just has such a storied history. You know, when you look at the coal mines, to the clay products factory, to today there’s the flea market, the opera house, the freedom rock. I mean, it’s just always had some amazing stuff happening there,” said Glandon. “So to me, it was kind of a no brainer to do that. Especially because I live 15 minutes away...We really have a lot of the highlights, both from what was prosperous a long time ago and what is prosperous now”

The documentary will be shown on August 18 and 19, at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A with Glandon. The premiere will be a free will offering. Glandon also plans to sell DVDs of the documentary both at the premiere and at the flea market in October. He is also looking into getting it on a streaming service.




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