Electric Theatre

301 West Second Street,
Kirwin, KS 67644

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Fred A. Reeves opened Kirwin’s first dedicated movie theatre in the, then, four-year old W.A. Landes Building on the southwest corner of the business square in Kirwin on December 18, 1909. The Moving Picture Show operated for three years on Wednesday and Saturday operation in a space occupied previously by a pool hall. In March of 1912, Reeves closed the theatre and continued his Ford car business while the city’s library was established in the Landes Building in 1912.

Reeves – who had competed with the Kirwin Opera House which had also gotten into motion pictures – decided to get back into motion pictures. In 1914, he bought out the Kirwin Opera House and continued motion picture exhibition part time at the Opera House.

With a steady clientele, Reeves then bought the Landes Building in 1916 and the library moved to a new location. He gave the city its most modern movie theatre, the Kirwin Electric Theatre launching on March 11, 1916.

Reeves sold the theatre to W.T. Newbold in 1919. He would go on to operate both the Opera House and the theatre whose name he shortened to the Electric Theatre. Newbold refreshed the theatre and marketed it heavily into the mid-1920s. Two other operators continued the operation which appears to have closed in 1932.

The space was retrofitted for a retail department store.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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