In June 1978, Summerland was the location for the movie, Who’ll Save Our Children.
This made-for-television movie was a Time Life production starring Shirley Jones (Partridge Family) and Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd.) The list of actors included Summerland residents Lloyd Orsted and Shane Dennison.
The movie was based on Rachel Maddux’s book, The Orchard Children. The story is about the relationship between foster parents and two “cast off” children.
The movie is set in rural Tennessee but was filmed in Summerland, Naramata and Penticton. Filming took place between June 5 and June 29, 1978.
Throughout the production of the movie, it was known as The Orchard Children, but the name was changed to Who’ll Save Our Children prior to release. .
The film featured a centennial parade on Summerland’s Main Street, altered to represent an American community. There were about 2,000 Summerland residents who were part of the movie’s parade.
Included in the parade was the Summerland Secondary School marching band, led by John Tamblyn. Later, Summerland residents said it was the best parade Summerland had ever seen.
The film also used the interior of the Village Inn Restaurant (now Sass Boutique), the St. Stephens Anglican Church, Macil’s Apparel, the Okanagan College office, Penny’s Beauty Shop and Farm and Garden Supply.
The movie was aired on CBS on Dec. 16, 1978.
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