Minor Theatre

1015 H Street,
Arcata, CA 95521

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Minor Theaters

Architects: Franklin T. Georgeson

Functions: Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 707.822.3456

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News About This Theater

Minor Theatre

This is supposedly one of the oldest theaters in the United States that was built for the sole purpose of viewing movies. It was opened on December 3, 1914.

Closed in 1938, it was reopened in the 1950’s. Closed again in the 1960’s, it was reopened in 1972. It was operated by Coming Attractions Theatres until 2016. It reopened under an independent operator on September 16, 2016.

Contributed by Rudy Weibel

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

kencmcintyre on June 27, 2007 at 8:15 pm

Just for argument’s sake, if the 1914 date on the building is correct, I would think there were quite a few nickelodeons built before that date that were solely for showing films.

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on October 18, 2007 at 12:28 am

No, not the oldest if it was built in 1912. The theater I help run, The Historic Park Theatre in Estes Park was built in 1913 for the sole purpose of showing films. Also, we are still a single screen. I also got a print from this Minor Theatre at one of my other theaters that was filthy and almost completly distroyed at the ripe old age of less than a year (sprockets on the sound track side completely chewed uo). I’m not saying it was them but…..

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on October 18, 2007 at 12:29 am

***Sorry, I meant 1914 in my first sentence of the above comment

agoseta on March 12, 2009 at 8:54 am

I really appreciate these informations and I belive taht the historic Cinema Lumière in Pisa (Italy) is the oldest purpose-built, continually operating cinema in the world.
The Lumière opened in December 16th, 1905.
View link

In Italy the first commercial screening of movies with fully synchronized sound took place in the Cinema Lumière (Pisa – Italy) in October 19th, 1906 by the Fabbrica Pisana di Pellicole Parlate, patented by Pietro Pierini with the name of “Isosincronizzatore”.

Until march 2009, Korsør Biograf Teater (opened January 30th, 1907) in the danish city Korsør was listed the oldest cinema in the Guinness Book of World Records. Before a cinema in Szczecin, Poland, was listed as the oldest.

sunksunk on April 23, 2010 at 4:03 pm

The seating layout was changed in the renovations. The main auditorium now seats 295 people (including balcony), and the smaller theatres seat 86 and 80 people respectively. A total of 461 seats.

Interestingly enough, at the time the theatre was built (with the main auditorium seating over 500 people), the population in Arcata was roughly 1,000 people, making it nigh impossible to sell out the theatre.

Mikeyisirish on October 20, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Here’s a recent photo: http://www.thewholeearthisfilledwithhisglory.com/theaters/056a.html

davidkaye on September 1, 2016 at 3:18 am

The old operator, Coming Attractions, a very corporate operator, abruptly closed down the Minor and removed equipment and seats. The landlord brought in a partner and the Minor will reopen on Sept 16, 2016 with art house and retro movies, adding food and beer. Many seats have been removed to allow for tables and easy in and out. They set up a black tie opening night event, which was sold out as of yesterday. Sounds really good! I can hardly wait to go up to Arcata and experience this for myself. I’ve always loved the Minor.

davidcoppock on September 1, 2016 at 8:52 am

The Minor theatre should be heritage listed!

stevenj on October 20, 2018 at 1:51 pm

Added 3 photos, all taken about a week ago, one of which is the plaque displayed in front of the theatre regarding it’s status as the nation’s oldest theatre built for feature films.

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