An annual tradition returns to the stage of Folsom’s Sutter Street Theatre this Saturday, Oct. 14 as its monthly edition its Olde Tyme Radio Show will be presenting its edition of the famous Orsen Welles’ The War of the Worlds.

Using the original radio script, actors from Sutter Street Theatre will present the show in a replica of an old-time radio studio complete with live sound effects.  The original presentation of this broadcast caused panic across the country and has since become historical and adapted to screen as well.



The History of War of the Worlds

Originally, The War of the Worlds  was a Halloween episode of the radio series The Mercury Theatre on the Airand narrated by Orson Welles as an adaptation of the novel The War of the Worlds that was performed and broadcast live on October 30, 1938 over live radio. The episode is famous for inciting a panic by convincing some members of the listening audience that a Martian invasion was taking place, though the scale of panic is disputed, as the program had relatively few listeners. 


The famous episode began with an introductory monologue based closely on the opening of the original novel, after which the program takes on the format of an evening of typical radio programming being periodically interrupted by news bulletins. 


The first few bulletins interrupt a program of live music and are relatively calm reports of unusual explosions on Mars followed by a seemingly unrelated report of an unknown object falling on a farm in Grovers Mill, New Jersey. 

The crisis escalates dramatically when a correspondent reporting live from Grovers Mill describes creatures emerging from what is evidently an alien spacecraft. 


When local officials approach the aliens waving a flag of truce, the “monsters” respond by incinerating them and others nearby with a heat ray which the on-scene reporter describes in a panic until the audio feed abruptly goes dead. This is followed by a rapid series of news updates detailing the beginning of a devastating alien invasion and the military’s futile efforts to stop it. 

The first portion of the episode climaxes with a live report from a rooftop in Manhattan, from where a correspondent describes citizens fleeing in panic from giant Martian “war machines” releasing clouds of poison smoke until he coughs and falls silent. Only then does the program take its first break, about thirty minutes after Welles’s introduction.

The second portion of the show shifted to a conventional radio drama format that follows a survivor dealing with the aftermath of the invasion and the ongoing Martian occupation of Earth. The final segment lasts for about sixteen minutes, and like the original novel, concludes with the revelation that the Martians have been defeated by microbes rather than by humans. 

Welles’s “War of the Worlds” broadcast has become famous for convincing some of its listeners that a Martian invasion was actually taking place due to the “breaking news” style of storytelling employed in the first half of the show. 

Sutter Street Theatre’s Old Tyme Radio Show will bring this classic to life at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $10 at the door. 

Legend of Sleepy Hollow enters week two

Folsom’s Sutter Street Theatre also continues its Halloween time classic this weekend The Legend of Sleepy Hollo. 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is fun and spooky, adapted from the classic story by Washington Irving. The local version is being presented with all the thrills, chills and laughs that keep audiences on the edge of their seats. 

The storybook tale revolves around four main characters starting with the bumbling, awkward schoolteacher Ichabod Crane who is joined by the coquettish Katrina Van Tassel, and Ichabod’s brutish rival Brom Bones. 

The show saves the best for last with the famed ride of the Headless Horseman coming to life on the Sutter Street stage. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is perfectly exciting family entertainment for the just in time for the arrival of the Halloween season.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow continues Saturday’s and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. through Oct. 29. Tickets can be purchased online at or through the theater box office at  (916) 353-1001. The theatre is also showing its cult classic “Evil Dead” this month, however all performances have been sold out since the beginning of the month.

Sutter Street Theatre is located in the heart of Folsom’s Historic District at 717 Sutter Street. 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow also continues at Sutter Street Theatre through Oct 29.