Manavista Theatre

1700 Third Avenue W,
Bradenton, FL 34205

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Electric Theatre

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The Manavista Theatre was an early silent film theatre in downtown Bradenton, Florida. It existed at the time of store-show nickelodeon venues in which silent movie theatres were quickly placed in existing storefronts to cash-in on a hot trend. The Manvista took the place of the Stansfield Drug Store that was part of the Coe Block, a building constructed in 1896. The Coe Block also had the distinction of housing the first movie theatre and an opera house.

Henry C. and Martha Coe had opened the Manavista Hotel on Jan. 31, 1907 and the Bradenton Electric Theatre opened in the neighboring Coe Building on October 16, 1908. The Manavista Theatre would follow the Electric Theatre to the Coe Block in 1911 on a five-year leasing contract. It was one of four entertainment venues that had co-existed pre-World War I Bradenton along with the Warren Opera House (1896) that was in an upstairs location next to the Manavista Theatre as well as two additional store-show silent houses, the Pandora Theatre (technically to follow-up to the Electric Theatre though in the Anderson Block), and George B. Wallace’s New Wallace Theatre. Ornithologist Eugene Swope spoke on behalf of the Audobon Society at both the Manavista Theatre and the Pandora Theatre in 1914.

In 1914, the original operator sold out the lease to a new operator. At that time, the three buildings in the Coe Block and neighboring Manavista Hotel were fused together so that folks could take a pedestrian bridge to the theatre. The new operator K.M. Juran operated it to the expiry of its lease and closed. The Pandora Theatre also closed leaving the Opera House and the New Wallace Theatre until new theaters came along.

The space occupied by the Manvista Theatre was converted into a sales space for the Overland Car Company and the Trailmobile, the “motorless motor truck.” The Coe Block Building housing the Manavista Hotel and its neighboring theater was demolished in 1949.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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