DelChar Theatre

20 West Main Street,
Mayville, ND 58257

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DelChar Theatre (Official)

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Functions: Movies (First Run)

Previous Names: Bijou Theatre

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DelChar Theatre

Small town movie theatre in downtown Mayville, located on Main Street between Center Avenue and First Avenue SE. It opened as the Bijou Theatre prior to 1916 and was renamed DelChar Theatre in 1930. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a single show each night at 7:15.

Two story front with a lite colored brick on the upper story and a black tile on the lower part. The box office has a glass block around the bottom portion. It has a small triangular marquee with a small vertical sign with the name in neon.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Chris1982 on July 13, 2014 at 1:55 am

The DelChar was initially open prior to 1926 as the Bijou. The name was changed to DelChar in 1930. Their website is

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 13, 2014 at 12:02 pm

The 1985 NHP nomination form for the Delchar Theatre (PDF here) says that the house opened on February 6, 1928. It was built by Charles M. Tolan, and the name was derived from combining his first name with that of his wife, Della. The form says that Tolan had operated theaters in Mayville since 1917, but doesn’t give names or addresses for any of them.

This PDF has a photo of the Delchar Theatre, apparently taken in 1985 for the NRHP nomination.

The NRHP form uses the -re spelling of the T word, but the theater’s official web site uses the -er spelling.

Chris1982 on July 14, 2014 at 11:17 am

Strange, the Motion Picture Yearbook shows it opening in 1930 as the DelChar. Prior to that it was listed as the Bijou Theatre

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm

NRHP nomination forms do sometimes have mistakes, but the Film Daily Yearbooks have more. This particular NRHP form, prepared by a planning firm in Fargo, cites Traill County assessment and real estate records as well as items published in the local newspapers as early as 1927 as sources, so it looks to be reliable.

The editors of the Yearbooks were not very good at updating their records, unfortunately. The theater in the neighborhood I grew up in was listed in the Yearbook as late as 1963, even though it had been converted into a church at least five years earlier. I’ve also found some cases where a theater didn’t get listed in the Yearbook until some years after it had opened.

The “Circuits” section of the Yearbooks is even more unreliable than the theater listings. I have come across theaters listed under circuits which had vanished from the main theater listings decades earlier.

Film Daily itself was probably more reliable overall than the Yearbooks, but even then you have to be wary of such things as seat counts, which were frequently wrong, and the magazine was loaded with misspellings and typos.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 29, 2022 at 2:35 am

The Bijou Theatre at Mayville is mentioned in the April 1, 1916 issue of Moving Picture World. Given that the numbers 19 and 27 in the upper corners of the Delchar’s façade probably show the year of construction, it might be that the Bijou was a different house. It could of course be that the façade was simply new construction on an existing theater.

In either case, an unnamed movie theater at Mayville was mentioned in the May 1, 1910 issue of The Nickelodeon. This might have been a different house, as no theaters were listed for the town in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory.

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