Central Theatre

Papillion, NE 68046

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Movie Show

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The Central Theatre was housed in the Storz Brewing Company’s factory in Papillion to the southwest of Omaha, NE. When prohibition came about, the building was repurposed for the town’s first full-time movie house. It opened as the Movie Show on April 21, 1921 It featured one projector causing breaks in the reel changes. In March of 1923, it became the Central Theatre apparently operating to closure with one projector.

The Central Theatre struggled unable to convert to sound and went out of business for four months in 1930 until a new operator took it on and closed it once again early in 1931. The Community Builders of Omaha leased the venue equipping with two new projectors a sound system at its grand reopening on September 17, 1931 with George Sidney in “The Cohens and Kellys in Africa”. Almost unbelievably, it was the first time the movie house had two projectors which was said to reduce feature film projection times by 15 minutes.

The Central Theatre was a flop closing before year’s end. It came back one last time in 1933 with live entertainment to no avail. The Central Theatre went out of business permanently ending with live programming in November of 1933. It was retrofitted in December of 1933 to become a tavern serving beer and soft drinks. It is one of the rare Cinema Treasure venues that was closed as a beer establishment due to the 18th Amendment / Prohibition, turning to a movie house during the Prohibition, only to be re-equipped for post-Prohibition beer selling just weeks after the 21st Amendment ended that practice.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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