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Previous Names: Roseberry Hall, Rosebury Opera House, Mullen Opera House, Senk Theatre, Pastime Theatre
Tiny Mullen, Nebraska, had a long-running opera house / theatre in its downtown. It was created by J.L. Roseberry who used the main floor of the cement structure for his retail business, J.L. Rosberry’s & Sons General Merchandise.
The second floor housed the lobby entrance for the second floor Roseberry Hall / Roseberry Opera House in 1910. A third floor would later be established as a projection booth for the picture plays shown there. Druggist John J. Motl installed permanent Baird projectors in 1917 as the venue became known as the Mullen Opera House.
By 1926 S.A. Senk took over the venue and it was renamed Senk Theatre. The theatre’s curtain featured a waterfall sequence surrounded by advertisements from local businesses. The Opera House also housed the high school team’s basketball games until a gymnasium was built for them in 1929.
Senk equipped the venue for sound movies beginning in 1930 with Rudy Valee in the “Vagabond Lover”. Senk would sublease the business three times with the Opera House going out of business during the Depression with short periods of closures. In 1934, the theatre had a brief name change to the Pastime Theatre and then the Mullen Theatre. New operators took over and the theatre returned to its Mullen Opera House moniker closing just after World War II.
A refresh in 1946 under J. E. and Bill Macke returned the movie business to to the Mullen Theatre name. Except for a brief period in the early-1960’s, the Macke family ran the local movie house. A fire in 1963 just hours after Macke reacquired the Mullen Theatre led to one final refresh. The theatre operated in the building until 1974. The building was later razed.
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