Courter Theatre

211 N. Main Street,
Gallatin, MO 64640

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The Courter Theatre was opened by 1927 and was a conversion of a motor garage. Seating was listed at 435. The building is in use today as the 3B Silversmiths. The theatre was located at the corner of the town square.

The Courter Theatre closed in 1956.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I believe we have this theater’s name misspelled. A Courter Theatre was in operation at Gallatin no later than 1927. The July 1, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News had this item :

“A Panatrope, produced by the Brunswick-Balke Collender Company, has been installed in the Courter Theatre, Gallatin, Mo., by Manager H. Courter.” (A Panatrope was a high-end Brunswick phonograph.)
Members of the Courter family were still operating this theater at least as late as 1949, when the house was mentioned in Showmen’s Trade Review. There is a reference to the Courter in Motion Picture Heralld in 1932 as well. There was also once a Courter Theatre in Hamilton, Missouri, presumably operated by the same family.

There is a live theater venue called the Courter Theatre in Gallatin today, operated by the Gallatin Theatre League, but in a different location than the old movie theater. The original theater might have operated past 1956, as well, as a company called Corter Theatre, Inc., since dissolved, was formed in 1965.

If the building currently showing in Street View was indeed the Corter Theatre, then the house was converted from an automobile agency’s showroom. This photo from the Daviess County Historical Society shows the building occupied by the Mead Ford dealership. It’s undated, but, judging from the cars, appears to have been taken around 1920.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 17, 2018 at 6:02 pm

A house called the Courter Theatre was in operation in 1966, when the September 29 issue of the Albany Ledger from Albany, Missouri, mentioned the Courter Theatre at Gallatin as one of four movie houses operated by a Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wilcox, who had just bought the closed Rigney Theatre in Albany and planned to reopen it as the Wilcox Theatre.

The problem is that I don’t know if this article concerned the original Courter Theatre, or the current Courter Theatre, which has existed since 1965 according to this article from the Davies County Historical Society. The Society’s article notes that the theater had both a movie screen and a concession stand, and had been owned by a non-profit group since 1965 and was showing movies as late as 1983.

Indeed, the reopening of the Courter Theatre following a refurbishment that took about four weeks was mentioned in Boxoffice of August 12, 1974. Then-manager John Schwieger was the manager of the house until resigning in 1983, according to the Historical Society article.

I have been assuming that the address 211 N. Main was indeed the location of the original Courter Theatre, but I have not found any source saying that the current Courter Theatre either was or was not the original, nor any source other than Cinema Treasures saying that the building at 211 N. Main ever housed a theater (though it certainly does look like it could have.) Either way, the current Courter Theatre at 105 S. Main Street (east side of Main just south of the square) and now the home of the Gallatin Theatre League, was operated as a movie house as late as 1983.

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