Ramblings & ephemera

The first movie theater

From Adam Goodheart’s “10 Days That Changed History” (The New York Times: 2 July 2006):

APRIL 16, 1902: The Movies

Motion pictures seemed destined to become a passing fad. Only a few years after Edison’s first crude newsreels were screened — mostly in penny arcades, alongside carnival games and other cheap attractions, the novelty had worn off, and Americans were flocking back to live vaudeville.

Then, in spring 1902, Thomas L. Tally opened his Electric Theater in Los Angeles, a radical new venture devoted to movies and other high-tech devices of the era, like audio recordings.

“Tally was the first person to offer a modern multimedia entertainment experience to the American public,” says the film historian Marc Wanamaker. Before long, his successful movie palace produced imitators nationally, which would become known as “nickelodeons.”

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