Sterling Theater

629 W. Saline Street,
Blue Hill, NE 68930

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Additional Info

Functions: Supermarket

Previous Names: Elite Theatre

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The Elite Theatre was opened on February 8, 1913 in a former retail building. It became the Sterling Theater from August 20, 1915. In the 1941 & 1943 editions of Film Daily Yearbook it is listed as (Closed). On September 20, 1944 it moved into the former Barcus Clothing Company building reopening as the New Sterling Theatre.

In July 1953, Boxoffice magazine reported that Mrs. B.F. Pippitt would continue operation of the Sterling Theater, following the death of her husband, former owner-operator, in June of that year. It was closed on September 26, 1956. It reopened March 30, 1957 only the finally close on July 24, 1957.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Chris1982 on October 29, 2014 at 6:50 am

The Sterling Theatre dates back to at least the mid-1920’s.

dallasmovietheaters on August 13, 2020 at 12:01 am

The Elite Theatre was created in an existing retail building launching February 8, 1913 with an hour of films for a dime. Sheilds, Duncan and Hoil gave the theatre a refresh and a new front relaunching the venue as the Sterling Theatre on August 20, 1915. The Elite converted to sound to stay current on April 22, 1929 with the Super Mellaphone Talking Picture equipment which synchronized a record to the film.

The Sterling moved to new digs beginning on September 20, 1944 in the former Barcus Clothing Company retail location. It relaunched as the New Sterling Theatre with “Buffalo Bill” in Technicolor. The theatre would be equipped with widescreen projection to present CinemaScope films. The Sterling closed on September 26, 1956.

A city council meeting took up the matter of finding a new operator in December of 1956 to success. The theatre reopened one last time on March 30, 1957 when the Blue Hill Improvement Association took on the operation. But the impact of television was too great and the Sterling closed for the final time on July 24, 1957 with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire in “Funny Face.” The Association promised to reopen after the hot summer months passed but a classified ad offering all of the equipment told a different story.

Duane Barnason bought the building converting it into a location for Barnason’s Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) Supermarket early in 1958.

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