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Movie Theaters

1870-2005 Majority of material found within 1920s-1960s
Accession: 20171116-JT-VII.


  • 1870-2005
  • Majority of material found within 1920s-1960s

Scope and Contents

This collection of 154 items, dates from 1870 to 1956, with the majority from the 1920s to the 1940s, Box 147-149

Included here are programs, press releases, letterheads, tickets, etc., related to movie theaters and drive-ins, mostly in New York and California, with other locations represented.

The earliest public film screenings took place in existing vaudeville theatres and other venues that could be darkened and comfortably house an audience. In the United States, a lot of small and simple theatres were set up, usually in converted storefronts. These theatres flourished from about 1905 to 1915. The first official permanent movie theater was opened by Thomas Edison in Buffalo, New York. The Vitascope Theater opened to the public on October 19, 1896. By the 1920s and 1930s, big names were like Paramount, Loews, Warner, and Fox. raced to build the most lavish and elaborate theaters.

Related items: Ticket to paradise : American movie theaters and how we had fun / John Margolies and Emily Gwathmey. Boston : Little, Brown, ©1991.

Palaces of dreams : movie theater postcards / John Margolies. Boston : Little, Brown and Company, ©1993.

Additional Information


From the Collection: 45 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Additional Description

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.


Related Names


Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Published Collections Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA