History Vignette/Mill Valley Historical Society
On May 14, 1908, Ye Village Theatre opened on Miller Avenue across from the railroad depot. Next-door was the bowling alley.
The Mill Valley Record reported that the show was well worth the ten-cent admission charge.
There were full houses every night. Grown-ups found the performance a pleasant hour’s relaxation, but youngsters were especially enthusiastic, and they always constituted more than half the audience. Two performances were given during the evening, one beginning at 8 o’clock and one at 9 o’clock, each lasting an hour.
The show consisted of four or five short moving pictures. The program was entirely changed on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.
In November 1908, the theatre began to offer vaudeville acts of song and dance and jokes, between the moving pictures. The vaudeville consisted of a pianist, a singer, a violinist, a magician and a comedian. In May 1909, a new manager offered a complete change of pictures four times a week. He also started giving away presents to those who held lucky numbers on coupons handed out at the box office.
In December 1909, the prize was a free turkey every Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
(These vignettes of Marin history are compiled by the Mill Valley Historical Society. To subscribe to the Mill Valley Herald or any of the other five Marinscope Community newspapers, please see page 3A of today’s newspaper or call 415-409-1073.)