Gem Theatre

112 N. Main Street,
Bishop, CA 93514

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The Inyo Register reports the Gem Theatre was the first real cinema in the Owens Valley. It was opened by Harry Holland around 1909 after he quit his job at the Opera House. At first the theatre was opposed by some church members as a “source of temptation and corruption” as well as Sunday movies, for which Harry defended in a response in the Register.

In 1911 Harry was back as manager of the Opera House, which he bought in 1918. Mr. Holland most likely operated the theatres concurrently as the Inyo Independent reported April 16, 1915, that he was putting an electric sign in front of the Gem Theatre.

The Inyo Independent reported on January 11, 1927, that Harry was also running movies two nights a week at the Pavilion Theatre in Independence, California.

The Gem Theatre was listed in the American Motion Picture Directory 1914-15 on Main Street and the Register notes it was located where Rusty’s Saloon is today.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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