Tally's Electric Theatre

311 South Spring Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Unfavorite 5 people favorited this theater

Tally's Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Tally’s Electric Theatre is listed as the first permanent movie theater designed specifically for the exhibition of films. It was opened in the spring of 1902 by Thomas L. Tally in Los Angeles.

In later years, Tally had the idea to create an organization of exhibitors, one from each major city, which would buy, or make, and distribute their own films. He presented his idea to another exhibitor, John D. Williams of West Virginia, who liked the idea and combined forces with Tally. They named their new company First National Exhibitors Circuit.

The organization’s first office was two small rooms at 18 East 41st Street, and their motto proclaimed, “The Good Guys Get, By Getting Together”.

Contributed by lost memory

Recent comments (view all 47 comments)

vokoban
vokoban on August 22, 2007 at 8:44 pm

Does the Electric Theater at 212 N. Main figure into any of this? Does it have a page here?

vokoban
vokoban on August 22, 2007 at 8:46 pm

I just wondered because I can’t find anything on CT about it but it seems to have been around for a long time. It shows up in these city directories:

[1915, 1916, 1920, 1923 LAT, 1930, 1936]

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 22, 2007 at 9:18 pm

The Electric Theatre at 212 N. Main is listed here as the Roosevelt Theatre, which was apparently the last name under which it operated. I don’t know if Thomas Tally had anything to do with it.

Buffalo International Film Festival
Buffalo International Film Festival on August 31, 2007 at 12:05 pm

Sorry to post this here, but we’ve tried every other way to reach Joe Vogel. Mr. V… if you read this, could you write to us at
BuffaloFilmFestival AT gmail.com ? (substitute @ for AT) Thank you!

Buffalo International Film Festival
Buffalo International Film Festival on July 13, 2008 at 6:31 am

New research has just revealed that Tally’s Electric Theatre was NOT a free standing building: it was part of a larger building. Apparently, it was not a store-front conversion, but a purpose-built storefront.

This now leaves in doubt what the actual first “Theater” built free-standing from the ground up was.

nickb
nickb on July 30, 2008 at 10:05 am

Buffalo International Film Festival –

Could you direct us to this new research? I’d be interested to see it… Have any pictures surfaced?

HughMN
HughMN on November 5, 2009 at 10:45 pm

The Spring St. address is definitely incorrect. 311 South Spring Street is the address of Tally’s Phonograph Parlour, where Edison Kinetoscopes were indeed projected. But the Electric was first opened in 1902 on So. Main St. A picture of a theater identified as the Liberty Theater may be the same building, though this site gives that address as 266 So. Main. In any event, an advertisement on the front page of the LA Times, Saturday May 10, 1902 reads:
“ELECTRIC THEATER – 262 SOUTH MAIN, OPPOSITE THIRD ST.
Capture of the Biddle Brothers
NEW YORK CITY IN A BLIZZARD, THE HINDOO FAKIR and many other interesting scenes.
A REFINED Entertainment for
Ladies and Children
LASTING ONE HOUR FOR Ten Cents.
Continuous Performance 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
T.L. Tally, Mgr.
Phone John 7191”

CharmaineZoe
CharmaineZoe on May 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I have a photo of Tally’s I found in an old film magazine. The photo dates from about 1902 or 1903 or even earlier (I notice it has an awning advertising the Great Corbett Fight – This would be James J Corbett when in 1894 he took part in the production of one of the first recorded boxing events, a fight with Peter Courtney. This was filmed at the Black Maria studio at West Orange, New Jersey, in the USA and was produced by William K.L. Dickson. It was only the second boxing match to be recorded.) Unfortunately I am unable to post it here as you are not accepting any more photos, but you can see it on my Flickr photostream, at View link

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater