Barrymore Theatre

2nd Street,
Alcester, SD 57001

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Originally known as the Emmert Theatre, this theater was open by 1920. By 1931, it was renamed the Barrymore Theatre. The theatre is still listed as in operation by 1951.

Contributed by Khnemu

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 6, 2018 at 1:49 pm

A report for the South Dakota Department of Insurance covering the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920, listed Emmert’s Theatre in Alcester as having paid the require $5.00 public building license fee for that period. The Emmert Theatre was also on the list for the fiscal year ending in June, 1930.

The New Barrymore Theatre at Alcester is advertised in the December 4, 1930 issue of The Hawarden Independent from Hawarden, Iowa, a few miles east of Alcester, so the name change likely came in 1930.

However, it’s probable that the New Barrymore was in a different building than the Emmert Theatre had been. This item appeared in the July 7, 1930 issue of the Independent:

“Alcester Will Have New Theatre

“The business men of Alcester have organized an association known as The Greater Alcester Association, Inc. and will build a new theatre, work on which was started this week. The sum of $25,000 has been raised by the Alcester people for the erection of the building which has already been leased to Fred Elfine of Bloomfield, Neb. T. F. Thompson of Beresford is in charge of the building of the structure.”

The June 8, 1933 issue of the Independent reported that the Barrymore Theatre had suffered a major fire the previous Saturday night (June 3.) The building, still owned by the Greater Alcester Association but then under lease to a Mr. Harry Lind, would be rebuilt as soon as possible, the article said.

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