Province Almanac for April 2, 2015

Tallys, the first electric theatre via cinematreasures.org

Tallys, the first electric theatre via cinematreasures.org

It's an important day in Los Angeles motion picture history. In 1902 Tally's Theatre opened downtown (262 S. Main St.**) as the first dedicated electric movie theatre. At the time, Hollywood as we know it today was nothing more than a small neighborhood outside of Los Angeles. In fact, L.A. was not yet a hub for the motion picture industry. Movies were still being produced on the east coast and it wasn't until 1910 that the first movie would be made by D. W. Griffith in Hollywood proper.

For reference, Tally's would be approximately 8 miles (20-25 minutes drive in today's traffic) from the infamous Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened in 1927 on Hollywood Boulevard. Today, Hollywood is a distinct neighborhood of Los Angeles with over 100,000 residents. And the location of Tally's downtown is looking significantly different:

source: Google Maps

source: Google Maps

**Note: The original location of Tally's Electric is often cited as being located at 311 S. Spring St., though it appears that this was actually a different Tally's business. Advertisements from the period announce the opening of Tally's Theatre at 262 S. Main St., where it remained under that name for approximately one year. Accounts still vary, so please feel welcome to add comments for historical accuracy.

P.S. Tally's probably didn't sell popcorn. Early movie theaters were quite formal and the marriage of theatres and popcorn didn't occur until decades later.