102 E. Oak Street,
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Previous Names: Hurd's Opera House, Cozy Theatre
Local dentist, Dr. W.T. Hurd launched Hurd’s Opera House with live event programming in 1888 in downtown Bascobel. On March 15, 1899, the latest Edison movies were shown - likely the first time many local residents had seen movies. As was the case at many small town opera houses, motion pictures became a more important form of programming at Hurd’s.
The opera house was transformed to a full-time movie theatre in 1917 when Mr. V.M. Smrcina refreshed it and renamed it as the Cozy Theatre. It launched on May 3, 1917 with a live wild west show, Louis Madden’s 101 Ranch Show" supported by the film “Exposition’s First Romance” starring Clare Freeman and a short about the Panama Pacific International Exposition. In 1919, the Cozy Theatre, new operators Streeter & Ricks moved the Cozy Theatre to the Comstock Building.
Streeter & Ricks positioned Hurd’s Opera House as the “road show” movie destination returning the venue to its original moniker. As the Hurd was reaching its 40th Anniversary, sound films were trending. New operator Louis Lutz took the challenge installing sound on June 2, 1929 with Al Jolson in “The Singing Fool”. Silent films were shown twice a week and sound films were shown four times a week.
On December 11, 1932, fire destroyed Hurd’s Opera House turned Boscobel Theatre not long after its final screenings that evening. A contest to name the new building was held in November of 1932 causing the theatre to open as the New Theatre under Blaine Circuit. That turned almost instantly to the Blaine Theatre, a movie house that was still going in the 2020’s.
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