Elite Theatre

414 First Street,
Woodland, CA 95695

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Elite Theatre Advertisment

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 Grand Theatre was opened on March 14, 1908. The building that housed the theatre was built in 1889. On May 16, 1908 it was renamed Elite Theatre.

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 advertisements disappeared from the newspaper when it closed in 1915.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on October 28, 2020 at 5:05 am

Though admittedly lacking in detective skills, I can state with a very high degree of accuracy that this venue actually launched as the Grand Theatre on March 14, 1908 with motion pictures in downtown Woodland (see photos for the grand opening ad.) On May 16, 1908, under new operator William Hunt, the theater relaunched as the Elite Theatre still showing motion pictures.

In August of 1910, Hunt sold the theatre to Woodland movie pioneer Eugene Mathauer. However, William Hunt re-acquired the theatre in May of 1911 and his wife, Allie Hunt, ran the Elite closing it in 1915.

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