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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Oldest cinema? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Oldest cinema?
Ken Roe

Posts: 66
From: London, England
Registered: May 2003

 - posted June 15, 2003 12:04 PM      Profile for Ken Roe   Author's Homepage   Email Ken Roe         Edit/Delete Post 
The oldest operating cinema in the UK is the Electric, Station Street, Birmingham. Opened 27th December 1909 a 376 seat conversion of a garage by architect Bertie Crewe. It still operates (as the Electric) but is heavily altered and twinned (112 and 103 seats).

The oldest operating purpose built cinema in the UK (still operating) is the Electric Cinema, Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London. Opened 22nd December 1910, originally seating 650, it has recently been refurbished and restored. It is a Grade II* Listed building. Well worth a visit.

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Ron Newman

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted February 21, 2005 09:39 PM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
The Somerville Theatre in Somerville, Massachusetts (near suburb of Boston) opened in 1914 as a silent film and vaudeville house. It is still showing movies today, along with some concerts.

However, from 1915 to the early 1930s, it was used primarily, maybe even exclusively, as a live stage house.

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Michael R. Rambo Jr.
New Member

Posts: 36
From: Bensalem, PA
Registered: Jun 2005

 - posted July 25, 2005 11:27 PM      Profile for Michael R. Rambo Jr.   Email Michael R. Rambo Jr.         Edit/Delete Post 
The oldest active movie theatre in the Philadelphia area is the Hiway Theatre in Jenkintown. Opened in 1913 as The Jenkintown Auditorium. This theatre was acquired by The Stanley Company Of America (later known as Stanley Warner, RKO Stanley Warner, RKO Century Warner & Cineplex Odeon), this theatre became a independent theatre from Cineplex Odeon in 1986, going by names of: Embassy, Hiway, Merlin and Chas III.

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Joe Vogel
New Member

Posts: 12
From: Paradise, CA
Registered: Jul 2005

 - posted July 31, 2005 05:25 AM      Profile for Joe Vogel   Email Joe Vogel         Edit/Delete Post 
I think it's likely that the oldest continuously-operating movie theater in the United States (if not the world) is the Fountain Theatre in Mesilla, New Mexico, a tiny town of about 2000 people. The theater has been operating since 1905, and is still owned by a member of the Fountain family.

Until quite recently, it's nearest rival for longevity was probably the El Rey Theatre in Chico, California. Opened (as The Majestic) in the same year as the Fountain, it ran movies even in its early days, though they accompanied the Vaudeville shows for which the house was actually built. Also, the El Rey did not operate continuously for its entire history, as it was gutted by a fire in the 1940s and was closed for some time while being restored. Sadly, the El Rey ran its last movie on March 3rd of this year, and is now being converted into a mixed commercial/office building.

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