Pal Theatre

602 Commercial Street,
Bartley, NE 69020

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Additional Info

Functions: Opera House

Previous Names: Bartley Opera House, Bartley Opera House Theatre, Bartley Theatre, Tivoli Theatre

Nearby Theaters

No theaters found within 30 miles

The new Bartley Opera House was built in 1907 and launched in January of 1908 with live programming. In 1916, the Opera House was in debt and found a new operator in Peter N. LeDou. LeDou changed the name of the venue to the Bartley Opera House Theatre with photoplay feature films every Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday. The longest, premiere features were shown on Thursdays. The town’s population hit its all-time high at 511 in 1910.

Though live local events were in the mix, the popularity of films ousted traveling shows and plays at the venue. In February of 1917, the name of the venue was changed to the Bartley Theatre. The theatre went out of business in February of 1920. It re-emerged on May 10, 1921 as the Tivoli Theatre run by W.L. McKinley. The theatre brought back live programming mixing in film until 1923 when film became the predominate programming. The Tivoli Theatre closed July 28, 1928 with “The Great Mail Robbery” supported by a two reel comedy short.

New operators took on the venue in 1928 giving the theatre a refresh. A.L. and Harold W. Cochran kept the name a mystery until the first showtime advertising as the ? Theatre. On September 6, 1928, the movie house was now called the Pal Theatre launching with Clara Bow in “Hulu”. The theatre boasted, “The Best in Silent Pictures”. The pair also operated the Opera Café. But on September 28, 1929, the Pal Theatre closed with Colleen Moore in “Lilac Time”. The operators took the equipment to Wood River, Nebraska ending the Opera House and Café.

The venue was used for town meetings and events at least into the 1940’s. But the town’s population dwindled to fewer than 400 residents and the town never had a sound movie theatre. The building has been razed since.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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