Vitascope Hall

623 Canal Street,
New Orleans, LA 70130

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Additional Info

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Vitascope Hall, New Orleans, Louisiana in 1897 - MPW Jul 1916

The Vitascope Hall was opened on July 26, 1896. It was said to be the ‘world’s first permanent for-profit movie theatre’.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

bigjoe59 on August 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm

was the original Vitascope Hall of 1896 built from the ground up with the sole intent of showing flickers or was it simple a already existing retail space redone as a movie theater?

CharmaineZoe on February 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm

It was a store room that William T Rock (who later became the President of the Vitagraph Company of America)hired to exhibit his Edison Vitascope, having bought the state rights for Louisiana while living and working in New York, but only because it was the only one left. He and his partner Walter Wainwright installed chairs and a projection booth and using some films he had brought with him from New York set it up as a showroom, packing them in from July to October.

In the fall of 1897 they returned to New York, having made a profit of approx $2,000 each and having sold half of their now stock of 600 films to some people in Texas for a lot of diamonds. Once back in New York they eventually set up the Vitagraph Company and became the leading exhibiting company in the country.

Read the whole story at:

regorlee on December 6, 2016 at 11:52 am

For CharmaineZoe. We at the University of New Orleans Nims Center Studio ( have inherited a fairly large collection of pre-cinema optical devices many of which led to the birth of the movies. I am currently preparing an ongoing project to establish a permanent interactive exhibit of the pieces. I would be interested in talking to you about this project since you have knowledge of the New Orleans Vitascope Hall.

RkoRoxy on April 8, 2018 at 9:50 pm

That’s interesting about William Rock claiming to have operated Vitascope Hall. I found something in Terry Ramsey’s book “Million and One Nights” that has a letter from Rock stating that there’s a “lot of projectors down here (New Orleans). There’s a man on Canal street with a Phantoscope with signs out side saying Edison’s Vitascope. At first I thought this was the theatre he was talking about. Guess not.

DavidZornig on June 2, 2019 at 10:44 pm

Image added via Larie Tedescoā€ˇ. Believed to be the Vitascope Hall auditorium.

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.