308 S. 7th Street,
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Ray Small’s Cozy Theatre was reported in the Motion Picture Herald on May 22, 1937, as opening soon. It was previously noted that that Mr. Small’s Lyric Theatre burned down the previous November. The Film Daily Year Book of 1945 listed the Cozy Theatre with 250 seats, down from 264 in 1938.
On August 15, 1939 the Cozy Theatre played the shocking movie “Marihuana,” and placed an attention-getting advertisement in the Beatrice Daily Sun. Today the Internet Movie Data Base describes it as: “A young girl slowly becomes a dope pusher". Interestingly enough, the Daily Sun previously reported on August 4, 1939, that a man in Lincoln had been arrested on a federal complaint of sending 30 pounds of marihuana through the mails. It is not known if the timing of the movie was just coincidental and had anything to do with the arrest in Lincoln or it was or good exploitation.
On March 31, 1944, the Sun reported that the Cozy Theatre, which had been operating on weekends, would be closed. The reason according to Mrs. St. Clair, the manager, was “lack of help” and that she had been unable to find an operator. She may have meant projectionist, which was a job taken primarily by men and tied to a labor shortage because of the ongoing war.
On February 7, 1976, the Daily Sun published demolition photos of the Cozy Theatre that had previously been described as an “eyesore". The site is still a vacant lot.
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