Fairfax Theatre

Fairfax, AL 36854

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There were 2 Fairfax Theatres in the city of Fairfax, AL.

The Second Fairfax Theatre replaced another Fairfax Theatre which was owned by Mr. Hugh Allen and was completely destroyed by a fire caused by the projector when a film became ignited in the projection room during the afternoon of July 15, 1932 along with Fairfax’s telephone exchange and a pressing club owned by J.H. Canady. Mr. Hugh Allen received painful burns while attempting to eject the burning film from a window. Luckily, only a few attended the show and Allen succeeded in ushering these out before the blaze grew.

Both Fairfax Theatres were operated by the Al-Dun Amusement Company of which L.J. Duncan is the general manager for the company, and the second Fairfax Theatre opened its doors on August 21, 1933 with a capacity of 200 seats; but apparently due to the MPPDA strike, the management cannot announce the program for the initial night and ensuing the following week after opening. However, one of the first films to be shown there is the southern area premiere of the film “Pilgrimage” (Fox Film) which had its premiere at the Gaiety Theatre in New York City along with a Laurel and Hardy short “The Midnight Patrol”. 3 days later, Ms. Gloria Hall, a famous L.A. Stunt Flyer appeared in person at the Fairfax Theatre and later flew to the Lanett Theatre nearby. The manager, Howard B. Scheusler, was formerly the manager of the nearby West Point Theatre, and having at the time operated the Lafayette Theatre stated that for the past several years, he had recently accepted a position with the Al-Dun Amusement Company to manage its new theatre at the first Fairfax Theatre which destroyed by a fire later on. He left Lafayette and joined Fairfax. Perry Schuessler who had been associated with the local management of the Lafayette Theatre will be the owner there.

After World War II, the theatre mostly had a strong focus on special events but still shows movies at the time. Likely enough, the theatre’s business is almost over. The theatre stopped showing films and had the possibility to end up closing its doors in 1951 but the story is incomplete that I should say, so the hunt still continues.

Contributed by 50sSNIPES

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

robboehm on February 23, 2021 at 8:57 am

The hunt is more complicated by the fact that Fairfax and three other textile mill towns, River View, Shawmut and Langdale, were incorporated into the City of Valley in 1980. Theatres in each are listed under the original community names.

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