204 N. 3rd Street,
Beresford, SD 57004

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

Nearby Theaters


This theater appears on the 1917 Sanborn, in the northern storefront of a two-story brick commercial block constructed sometime between 1898 and 1904, a period when most of downtown transitioned from wooden buildings to more substantial structures. The 1912 map (which does not have any theaters), shows this space as a garage. The 1914 edition of American Motion Picture Directory lists a Jewell Theatre and an Idle Hour Theatre in Beresford (no address’s given), so this theatre could be either one of those.

Further history is unclear, as later maps are unavailable online, but this long ago reverted to retail. The building is in decent shape. The ground floor has been given a very unattractive remodel, and the building currently houses an antique store.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 1, 2024 at 11:16 pm

Another possible, and even likely, name for this house is provided by the April 1, 1916 issue of Moving Picture World: “Beresford, S. D.-O. J. Dyvig of Harrisburg has purchased the Empress theater from Julius Johannsen.” That reference couldn’t have been to the Empress (later the Vogue) at 109 N. Third Street, as that location was still occupied by a clothing store on the 1917 Sanborn map

Whatever name, if any, this theater had in 1914-15, there’s a decent chance that by 1916 it was the first location of the Empress. O. J. Dyvig was still operating the Empress in 1918, though, wherever it was by then, as he and the house are mentioned in the May 18 MPW that year.

SethG on May 2, 2024 at 8:16 am

One of the other theaters may have been an old wooden GAR hall/Opera House located to the rear of this building, facing 2nd St. Still there in 1917, but long ago demolished. It would have extended under some of the gray metal building on Hemlock.

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