241 E. State Street,
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The Empire Family Theatre was launched by the Sun & Ammon Circuit on October 24, 1906 (the address at the time was 21 E. State Street). The Grand Opera House was the leader in showing motion pictures and four store-show era nickelodeons hastily tried to challenge the Grand in Salem including Dean’s Electric Theater, the Broadway Electric Theater, and the Nichololean. But it was this location that gained traction.
In 1909, the theatre was known as the Family Theatre appealing to wholesome audiences. On June 21, 1913, under new management it was the Royal Theatre and expanded its audience base. When the State Theatre opened in 1922, the Royal Theatre became the third-tier theatre of Salem’s four major movie locations. The Royal Theatre was late transitioning to sound and closed March 30, 1931. It became the long-running Islay Dairy Store.
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