This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is not supported by advertising, it's supported by the generosity of my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

Going to a movie at the Columbia Theater in 1918, Phoenix, Arizona


It's December 8th, 1918 in Phoenix, Arizona and I feel like going to a movie. I just saw the ad in the paper that said that it was free this afternoon at the Columbia. Come along with me.

The Columbia is on 2nd Avenue and Adams, so it's an easy walk. According to the ad, it's the best ventilating theater in the city, disinfected after each performance. The 1918 flu epidemic is over, but it's still worrisome.

It looks like there are three films that we can see: Fanny Ward (I'm a big fan of hers, aren't you?) in "Innocence", Douglas Fairbanks in "Manhattan Madness", Toto, the Champion Funny Man in "The Movie Dummy" and a short "America's Answer". Hey look, there's even a Mutt and Jeff Cartoon!

Of course the movies are silent, but I know that you're an excellent reader, so you can read the title cards for me. I'm sure that no one in the theater will mind if you read them out loud - I've heard a lot of people do that. Besides, they should be listening to the orchestra!

The Columbia Theater in the 1920s, 2nd Avenue and Adams, Phoenix, Arizona

Luckily, it's December, so it should be pretty comfortable in the theater. I can't imagine how they'll ever get people into these places in the summer! I've heard that there's an invention that magically cools the air, and maybe it will make these places not only smell good, but feel cool. Wow, what an amazing time that we live in - moving pictures and maybe someday magically-cooled air!

Thank you for going to the movies with me.

Columbia ad from the Library of Congress


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