Delco Theatre

Centre, AL 35960

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Gem Theatre

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The Gem Theatre was a new-build venue located in the Gramling Building in downtown Centre. J.C. Wade launched the Gem Theatre on December 4, 1920 with a two-reel western and a three-reel comedy. The theatre was not long for Centre.

The final film screened was April 9, 1921 called, “The Great Accident”. Before “Midnight Man” was set to screen as the second film, the projection booth went up in flames taking down the Gem Theatre after less than four months of operation. The city’s bucket brigade was no match for the nitrate fire. The blaze took out the town’s post office, the neighboring Sanitary Tailor, and damaged eight other business.

Out of the blaze came the 200-seat Delco Theatre run by Dr. Gramling in the same spot as the Gem Theatre. The Delco Theatre was purchased in 1922 by local bank teller Glover A. Johnson who continued the Delco Theatre as a silent theatre operation until 1929. Johnson would supplant the Delco Theatre by his new-build Cherokee Theatre in 1929. He later built the Emory Theatre (1947) and the 411 Drive-In (1953).

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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