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The name Picto was used by three different theatres in Huntsville. The first began as a Nickelodeon named the Edisonia Theatre. The Edisonia was an early movie house at 115 Washington Street playing Edison films in 1910. It and the 207-seat Theatorium on Jefferson Street were popular venues for film along with the Lyric Theatre.
In 1910, the Edisonia was renamed the Picto Theatre under new operator, Anton Python. On August 16, 1911, the Picto Theatre advertised Winsor McCay with his animated show. The theatre closed following a double feature of Mary Pickford in “The Toss of a Coin" and Gertrude Robinson in “The Cobbler".
On April 30, 1915 the new Picto Theatre opened in the Steele-Everett Building on Washington Street. It’s opening film was Juanita Hansen in “The Secret of the Submarine". Music was provided by an Orchestrian Piano. The venue held 500 patrons. In March of 1917, new operator Mr. Mooring installed a $1,500 Wurlitzer Motion Picture Orchestra organ played by L.J. Davies. The Picto Theatre faded in 1917.
But its signage was reused for an African American 200-seat theatre also called the Picto Theatre on Jefferson Street. M.A. Shields ran the silent-era theatre and it had a popular barber shop as its neighbor. The theatre was still listed as a silent house in 1931.
The opening of the long-running African American venue, the Princess Theatre, on Church Street appears to be the end of the third and final Picto Theatre in Huntsville.
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