Bishop Theatre (I)

156 E. Line Street,
Bishop, CA 93514

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Bishop Opera House

Nearby Theaters

On May 4, 2019, members of the Holland family met at the Eastern California Museum in Independence, California, to sign copies of “Bishop Theatre: Harry Holland’s Dream”. The book was written by Mr. Holland’s descendant Katie Bird with the help of other Holland family members.

Harry’s first theatre, the Bishop Opera House, dates back to the Sanborn Maps of 1909, and the Inyo Independent first referred to it as the Bishop Theatre in March 1911, operated by Harry Holland. The Register notes Harry first worked at the Opera House in 1909 but resigned to open his Gem Theatre, located at 112 N. Main Street. In 1911 he was back at the Opera House, which he bought in 1918.

The Inyo Independent reported the destruction of the Bishop Theatre by fire January 6, 1924, with the Bakersfield Californian putting the loss at $35,000. According to newspaper accounts, by July 1925 work was well underway on the Masonic Hall, which occupies the site today.

The Register reports Harry filmed the daily life of Owens Valley residents from about 1915 to 1930. The results were “The Film of All Ages”, which has one short sequence showing the Bishop Theatre. For those interested, the film, with descriptive titles, can be searched on the internet. Harry passed away in 1950.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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