Bartering with Robert Porterfield
Original Author: Barter Theatre
Created: Twentieth century
Medium: Photograph
Publisher: Barter Theatre

Bartering with Robert Porterfield

Saltville native Robert Porterfield was an out-of-work actor in New York City when he decided to return to southwestern Virginia in 1932. He brought with him twenty-two other unemployed actors, and together they founded Barter Theatre, allowing patrons to pay the forty-cent admission price with produce, livestock, or dairy products. Porterfield and his partners accepted almost anything as payment, including toothpaste, snakes, and underwear. A pig was worth ten tickets, while two quarts of milk bought one ticket.