Temple Theatre, Geneva, New York

The March 11, 1916 issue of the trade publication Moving Picture World features a short article on Franklin C. Pierce, of Pierce & Nagle, proprietors of the Temple theatre in Geneva, New York.

According to Pierce there were four moving picture theatres in his small town:

“These have a total of 3,800 seats, and the population of Geneva is 12,000. You will therefore understand that the total seating capacity is out of proportion to the size of the place.”

The postcard advertises “vodvil” but “80 percent” of  Temple patrons wanted only motion pictures. The theatre would “probably dispense with vaudeville entirely.”

For movies, Pierce “uses the Triangle, Fox, Metro and Big Four Programs.”  For “hints’, he looks to the Strand Theatre in New York City. This opulent movie house, with 2, 989 seats, opened in 1914 under the direction of Samuel “Roxy” Rothapfel.

“Mr. Pierce has arranged his stage in an elaborate fashion and has built a $5,000 lobby. He has an orchestra of five pieces.”

In order to gather  “new ideas” for the Temple,  Franklin C. Pierce made “occasional trips to New York, Buffalo and other cities.”

Moving Picture World ending with:

“He [Pierce] says that audiences in small cities are usually very critical. He is meeting with success in serving his high-class patrons.”

The above postcard is part of the Theatre Talks LLC collection

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, awarded  “2010 Outstanding Book of the Year” by the Theatre Historical Society of America.


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