Naper Theatre

Main Street,
Naper, NE 68755

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Additional Info

Functions: Opera House

Previous Names: Naper Opera House

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Motion pictures in Naper, Nebraska date back to at least 1916 at the Naper Opera House. The town’s population had more than tripled from under 100 residents to 300 in the 1910 census. The Naper Opera House was to serve its residents with live events but was also showing motion pictures from its opening.

The Opera House’s name was changed to the Naper Theatre eventually transitioning to sound to stay viable. The Naper Theatre went out of business in 1941 and was reopened briefly during World War II with regular operation in 1943.

A new Naper Theatre was opened on May 12, 1945 with Dorothy Lamour and Fred MacMurray in “And Angels Sing”. Operator John Adams, who had additionally operated the Boyd Theatre for 15 years and the old Naper Theatre for five, sold the venue to Earl Cressman. Cressman relaunched after equipping it with all new Ballantyne projectors at a Grand Reopening on July 21, 1951 with Gene Kelly and Judy Garland in “Summer Stock”.

Cressman moved to Philadelphia and H.G. and Bertha Smith took over operation. The final showing at the Naper Theatre appears to be Walt Disney’s “Peter Pan” on December 6, 1959. The theatre was offered for sale in 1960 and was sold at a sheriff’s auction sale on August 27, 1962 with all contents including the film projectors, popcorn popper, and Dr Pepper drink dispenser.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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