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Fall River Theatre

2006 Photo from the John Cummings collection.
43118 Highway 299 E
Fall River Mills CA 96028
(530) 336-5030

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Record #16827  
 Opened: June 27, 1941
Capacity: 300 seats
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: New Town Hall, Paramount

Information for this tour was contributed by Donna Sylvester.

"The Town Hall Association was organized in 1914, when the people of Fall River Mills first felt the need of having a community center. The original committee consisted of A. H. Bosworth, Dr. M. D. Pratt, Ed McIntosh, B. F. Gassaway and Robert Summers. The committee, with the cooperation of the townspeople, was able to build a town hall and throughout the years it was in use, the various clubs and other townspeople contributed to maintain it in good order.

The first motion pictures to be shown in the hall were brought in once a week by E. B. Byard, who also was the first to bring sound pictures to Fall River Mills. He had portable equipment and visited each town once a week.

The original building was moved at the time the highway was built through Fall River as the highway commission bought up the property on which the building stood. The first property was donated by the Red River Lumber Company and the new property was bought from that same company when the building was moved.

On May 7, 1940, the building was razed by fire. James Murphy was operating the theatre on a nightly basis at that time. Soon after the fire, the people of Fall River again realized they needed a new town hall and the committee again commenced working to provide ways and means of erecting another hall. The insurance money from the old building together with the funds the committee and townspeople were able to raise provided a fund to start work in planning a new hall. The committee was able to borrow enough capital to insure completion of the building. In the fall of 1940 the architects submitted the plans for the new building and construction started soon after the new year. It was hoped that the building would be completed in April but weather conditions held up the opening until June 27, 1941.

George Tyler was the manager and Stella Tyler was the cashier. The projectionist was Marion Reed and Marcelle Bartle was the usherette. There were two shows each evening, at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. There was a Sunday matinee at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices were 10¢ for children, 26¢ for students, and 40¢ for adults. The loge seats were 45¢. There was a Federal defense tax on student and adult tickets, which was extra.

At some point, the Town Hall Theatre became the Paramount Theatre, owned by Paramount Pictures. The name was again changed to the Fall River Theatre after Paramount was forced to sell their stake in movie theatres." *

Donna Sylvester, also owner of the Mt. Burney Theatre, purchased and closed the Fall River Theatre on December 30, 2004 after it had been operating continuously since 1941. The Fall River Theatre was re-opened on May 6, 2005, after a complete renovation, including new seats, a new screen, a new dts digital sound system; including new stage speakers, new booth essentials: projector, lamphouse, automation, dimmer, platter and make-up table, carpets, side curtains, cabinets, paint, poster cases, and a complete restoration of the beautiful red fir floors. Shannon Toler, the Tyler's granddaughter, helped in the restoration. A new roof is on order and a new marquee is on the wish list.

* Town Hall history was copied from a souvenir program of The New Town Hall Theatre, dated June 27, 1941.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

July 2002 photos from the John Cummings collection.

59 KB · 625x469

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Last featured 12/31/2004. Last edited 3/11/2010.

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