Wallace Theater

1344 Manatee Avenue,
Bradenton, FL 34205

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Wallace Theatre, 1344 Manatee Avenue, Bradentown, Florida in 1916

Located at Manatee Avenue and 14th Street W. This was a silent theater which opened in July 1915. By 1941 it was operated by E.J. Sparks, a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures Inc.

Contributed by RickB

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

RickB on September 6, 2009 at 9:12 am

This page links to an undated photo. IMDB lists films titled “Over the Hill” and “The Rosary” from 1931, but also has the same titles in the mid-1910s. The theater was open early enough to be listed in a 1915-16 city directory.

RickB on February 3, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Unfortunately I have nothing beyond what I have posted. I get to Bradenton about twice a year but the circumstances are such that I never have time to do research.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2012 at 8:14 am

The January 22, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture world reported that the New Wallace Theatre at Bradenton, Florida, had opened in July, 1915, and had been prospering since, while two other movie theaters in Bradenton had succumbed to competition from the new house.

JoelBav on September 11, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I thought the Wallace later became the State, as the Palace later became Capri. Learned something…

By the address, the Wallace was on north side of Manatee (1344 – even number is north), possibly in building that later housed Morrison’s.

The State, at 1335 was on south side. As a kid in the 1960’s, I believe State later became Jim Reiger’s (sp?) Music/Pawn shop, on corner of Manatee & 14th St W.

The Towne was originally “The Village Theatre”, with (for our area) fancy, high-backed seating that rocked and had padded armrests. I remember seeing Clint Eastwood’s “The Beguilded” first-run there. It closed in the 1970’s.

The unassociated restaurant next door (names ranged from The McQuire’s Pub, a biz venture for the signing McQuire Sisters, to Canterbury Inn) survived. Once it became the Towne House, Floyd stepped in and reopened Village with new signage in the early 1980’s as the Towne Theatre.

Roughly 240 seats, single screen with a platter/xenon in place of the old carbon arcs, it ran until rent got too high in early 1990’s.

The two separate buildings were joined & it became a private school, which it remains as of 2013.

Hope that helps. Living here most of my life and managing theatres for 20 years comes in handy for SOMETHING… :D

JoelBav on November 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

If only we had Google street view from back then…thx Stephenvb… :)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm

The October 11, 1940, issue of The Film Daily said that the Wallace Theatre in Bradenton was being remodeled:

“Bradenton, Fla.— The old Wallace Theater here will be remodeled as another unit in the Sparks chain. Work will be done by S. S. Jacobs Company, Jacksonville. House will seat about 433. Job will cost approximately $12,000”
From the wording it sounds as though Sparks had just taken over the house. The item also said that Sparks 998-seat Palace Theatre in Bradenton was getting a new marquee and other improvements. The Wallace probably became their “B” house.

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