Ashland Auditorium

1321 Silver Street,
Ashland, NE 68003

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Hoffman Auditorium

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In 1917/8, Oscar Hoffman built a two-story brick structure at the confluence of 14th Street and Silver streets. The main floor held the Oscar Hoffman General Merchandise Store and the second floor held the Hoffman Auditorium. The venue opened on November 28, 1918 for movies presented by Ray Swanson and H.A. Kelley.

The first film was the World War I propaganda film, “To Hell With The Kaiser” starring Lawrence Grant. Charlie Chaplin’s “A Dog’s Life” played two nights later. The presentations featured a four-piece orchestra. Major event films played there for the first two years of operation but Ashland had two full-time movie theatres from 1925 to 1929 limited the need for movies at the Hoffman Auditorium.

The majority of the slots at the auditorium had live programming including plays, speeches, and dances. The Hoffman Auditorium temporarily moved some programming in 1929 to the BB Theatre after it had closed in town. The Auditorium did not convert to sound and discontinued all film screenings.

The Hoffman Auditorium appears to have gone into disuse during 1961 as the majority of second-floor opera houses and auditoriums in small towns had gone under decades earlier. The building still survives in the 2020s and discussions were held about possibly restoring the second floor.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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