Elite Theatre

414 First Street,
Woodland, CA 95695

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Top Hat Barber Shop (formerly Elite Theatre)

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The detective work of local historian David Wilkinson unearthed the location of this early silent theatre in Woodland. It is now the Top Hat barbershop. His story can be found in the Woodland Daily-Democrat on February 25, 2007, as part of a series on the history of theatre going in Woodland. (I found the preceding article for free by accessing NewsBank on my local library web site).

The first mention of the Elite can be found in the Daily Democrat on October 16, 1908 in a small article praising the new modern picture house. The building that housed the theatre was built in 1889.

From my readings in the Daily-Democrat archives, I found that its typical fare could have been “Inside of the White Slave Traffic”, which played there in October of 1914. It seems to be an exploitation film marketed as educational fare. A small note reads: “The management requests every father and mother to bring their sons and daughters, as they will learn a great moral lesson.”

Admissions were 10 and 15 cents. Its ads disappeared from the newspaper sometime in early 1915 and the date it closed is not definite.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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