Fallon Theatre hosts open house
Iconic venue celebrates the showing of the first movie in Fallon 100 years ago
Lights. Camera. Action. Silence.
That movie cliché with an added note about the silent films characterized the very first movie shown at then New Rex on Dec. 30, 1920, when the small agricultural town of Fallon joined the rest of the nation by presenting “Humoresque.”
To remember that occasion 100 years ago, the Fallon Theatre, which assumed its new name in 1930, is hosting an open house today (Dec. 30) from 6-8 p.m. to commemorate the first film shown to the community. Going to the movies beckoned residents with reasonable prices a century ago. Reserved seating for the first silent movie shown in Fallon was 50 cents, and general admission started at 10 cents for children to 35 cents for adults.
Ground breaking for a new building, though, had taken place in March and on Dec. 28, the theater showcased its modern amenities to an audience including Lt. Gov. Maurice J. Sullivan and U.S. Sen-elect Tasker L. Oddie.
Mike Berney, president of Fallon Community Theatre, said the venue will have an open house to celebrate its centennial. Fallon Theatre also held an open house in June to show its improvements earlier this year that included new bright red carpeting, new flooring and new seats
“It’s an iconic landmark,” Berney said of the storied building which stands out on South Maine Street with its red marque and neon “Fallon” signage. “We plan to have tours of the theater and show our improvements.”
Berney said he strongly encourages guests to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing.
Prior to the Fallon Community Theatre group taking over the operations, Bob and Mary Beth Erickson owned the theater, which had originally attracted moviegoers from other a communities. They sold the theater in January 2015 to Dr. Stuart Richardson who purchased a digital projector. Volunteers from the Fallon Community Theatre, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, then bought the theater from the Fallon optometrist in 2017 by using funds awarded from a Community Development Block Grant.