Cokato Theatre

245 Millard Avenue,
Cokato, MN 55321

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Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 3, 2007 at 7:16 pm

The Cecile Theatre

“Motion pictures first appeared in Cokato in 1907, when a group of men petitioned the council for
permission to use the second floor of the village hall to show movies. Shown once or twice a week, these silent moviesâ€"which usually ran about 20 minutesâ€"thrilled local audiences. The first theater building was opened in April 1914 on Broadway Avenue (later the site of Moberg Motor Co.). Its owner, A. G. Hansen, named it the Cecile Theatre, after his wife.

The next year, Esle Larson built a new theater on north Millard Avenue, now the site of Mike
Ackerman’s barber shop. The theater had its grand opening on Aug. 3, 1915, showing “The Quest,” a
Mutual Film Production starring Margarite Fischer and Harry Pollard. Music for this silent feature was provided by a local orchestra. Later, Mae Harkman played the organ for many of the silent films.

Movies with sound, “talkies” as they were called, made their debut in February 1930. Audiences were treated to the MGM production, “On With the Show,” and “It’s a Great Life.” “The actors live and talk with startling reality,” reported the Cokato Enterprise. Shortly before World War II, a new owner changed the name to the Cokato Theatre. It was a popular social gathering point for people of all ages. Children viewed Saturday matinee serials and adults enjoyed the latest full-
length features from Universal, MGM, and Twentieth Century Fox studios.

Admission charges ranging from 5¢ to 25¢ were not a problem for people who wished for an evening of entertainment. But time took its toll on the Cokato Theatre, with “The Swinger,” starring Ann-Margret and Tony Franciosa as its final film in late August 1967. Eighteen months later, the building was demolished".

Source and small photo on page 2.

KenRoe on May 4, 2007 at 2:15 am

It was still listed as the Cecile Theatre in the 1941 edition of Film Daily Yearbook. In the 1943 edition of F.D.Y. it is the Cokato Theatre.

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