719 Front Street,
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Functions: Funeral Home
Previous Names: New Theatre, Gibbon Theatre, Park Theatre, Gib-Theatre
Silent movies were first played in town at the 15-year old Gibbon Opera House in 1906. The town would have three silent theatres and had just one built for the sound era in the Moon Theatre/Gibbon Theatre.
When the silent movie house, the Dreamland Theatre ended its run in May of 1930 after just a brief foray into sound operation, it was turned into a cheese factory. The town was without a movie theatre for the first time in ten years. Fortunately, new interests took on an existing retail building and converted to the New Theatre. It launched nameless on September 5, 1930 with Reginald Denny in “One Hysterical Night.” On November 20, 1930, the name was changed to the Gibbon Theatre. The Gibbon Theatre was a quick Depression-era casualty.
In 1934, the Park Theatre operated briefly and one might assume that it could have been in this building. On December 13, 1935, the venue reopened again as the Gibbon Theatre with Zasu Pitts in “Hot Tip”.
New operator, Mr. Lysinger, refreshed the venue relaunching under a new name, the Gib-Theatre, on November 15, 1941 with Bette Davis and James Cagney in “The Bride Came C.O.D.” Mr. and Mrs. Honda ran the operation. The Gib-Theatre became very involved in war bond drives and salute to hero shows during World War II.
After the War, the Hondas sold the theatre to William C. White who would refresh the venue relaunching it as the Moon Theatre on November 7, 1947 with Jack Carson in “Love and Learn”. Harold S. Conroy of the Roxie Theatre in Shelton - and Shelton’s postmaster and fire department member for 41 years - ran the Gibbon theatre to the end of life. The Moon’s light faded after final showing on August 11, 1956. Final showing was “The Kettles in the Ozarks” supported by a cartoon.
On August 15, 1956, the theatre was auctioned off including its seating, Star popcorn popper and two Powers projectors. Funeral home operator Jack Godberson bought the building for $3,350 and the neighboring Woods Grocery building brought just $730.
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