Cameraphone Theater

1403 Douglas Street,
Omaha, NE 68102

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The Cameraphone Company was the first U.S. circuit to attempt to market itself as a sound movie exhibitor. It launched its Omaha location on September 23, 1908 with talking pictures billed as “the marvel of the age”. It was the fifth movie theatre on Omaha’s Douglas Street, alone, in the nickelodeon age.

The venue was a quick success drawing 12,000 folks in a single day - indicating a very short show as the Omaha venue held just 500 people. And to illustrate its success, the Omaha Cameraphone location reported that it was not uncommon to see as many as a half-dozen automobiles parked in front of the venue. That was something in 1908. But all-talking film was not perfected for almost 20 years and the company producing the Cameraphone titles ceased operations.

The Cameraphone Theatre continued with silent films and Eddie Horton at the organ all the way to April 14, 1917 when it closed with a four-wall presentation by California Film Enterprises of Cecil B. DeMille’s epic film, “Temptation”. A classified advertisement offered everything in the theatre for sale following the last showtime including the Baird film projector. The space was sold for $10,000 shortly thereafter and converted for retail use by (Solomon) Brodkey’s Clothing. The building appears to have been demolished in the 1970’s.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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