215 Main Street,
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Huntington Beach was incorporated on February 17, 1909, and six years later on April 2, 1915, William Harrison opened his Princess Theatre with admission set at .05 and .10 cents. The Huntington Beach News said: “The dedication of the new Princess theatre will be of more importance than any other event since the pier was dedicated a year ago.” The first presentation was “The Spoilers” of which the Princess' ad said: “It is one of the more notable film plays and has only been seen in the larger cities and ran for four solid weeks in Los Angeles.” The Huntington Beach News commented that they were taken by surprise when they reported on June 14, 1915, that Harrison, a respected entrepreneur, had already sold his theatre to Mrs. Francis F. Nelsen.
Sometime around 1924, with Huntington Beach in the midst of an oil boom, J. Cleve Scott bought the theatre and installed Jack Donough as manager. Scott, a respected banker, among his endeavors, owned some other theatres in Long Beach. On May 25, 1925, Scott opened his new Scott’s theatre (later renamed the Roxie and then the Surf) on Fifth Street and Donough moved over as manager. After the opening of Scott’s theatre, the Princess disappeared from the Huntington Beach News and opened from time to time or on a limited basis for community events (one mention was that a Studebaker dealer was going show a film of the new models in the Princess).
A 1925 Orange County directory lists an Empress theatre at 207 Main Street but it is not known if it was a renamed Princess as no show ads for it appeared in the H.B News. Today a modern commercial building occupies the old theatre address on Main Street in downtown Surf City.
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