Pender Theatre

322 Main Street,
Pender, NE 68047

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Thelma Theatre

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In 1914, an entrepreneur opened a movie theatre in a tent located on Main Street in Pender. When the cold weather came, he rented a vacant store building and opened a picture house known as the Thelma Theatre. The Thelma Theatre was remodeled in 1929 and it was equipped for talkies. On February 13, 1931 it was renamed Pender Theatre. It was closed on October 5, 1940 with Bob Burns in “In Old Missouri”. It was demolished a few days later and the Pix Theatre was built on the site.

Contributed by Randy Keith

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

dallasmovietheaters on October 24, 2021 at 5:29 am

The Thelma Theatre launched in downtown Pender at 322 Main Street in 1914 co-existing with the Covered Dome (aka Tent) Theatre which operated in the warm summer months. The Thelma had fans at launched but installed an air conditioning system in 1921 which would effectively end the summer tent shows. The theatre was remodeled by operator Mrs. M.C. Freed in late 1929 including a sound system bringing talking pictures to town.

On February 13, 1931, the Thelma was renamed under new operator Buzz Thacker as the Pender Theatre. The Thackers sold the venue in October of 1940 to Arnold Meierdierks. He immediately had plans drawn for a new theatre. Technically, the final show at Thelma turned Pender was on October 5, 1940 with Bob Burns in “In Old Missouri.” The theatre was razed days later.

The equipment was then moved to the Opera House renamed temporarily as the Pender Theatre which operated until June 22, 1941 ending its run with Betty Grable and Don Ameche in “Down Argentine Way.” The new Pix Theatre opened on June 27, 1941 on the former spot of the Thelma.

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