The Olde Un Theatres is one of the 28 movie theaters included in the book, “Historic Movie Theaters of Columbia, Missouri.”
It’s also one of four remaining movie theaters in Columbia, earning it a free copy of the book.
Some folks said they were surprised I included the Olde Un in the book, but movie theaters are no strangers to controversy.
When the first Nickelodeons opened in 1904-1905, people were concerned about men and women being together in the dark. How have times changed!
Then there was the first unsuccessful attempt at Sunday movies in July of 1925 by Rex Barrett when he owned the Cozy Theatre. Pastors protested and Sunday movies wouldn’t become part of Columbia’s culture until 1929 when the owners of the three movie palaces, the Missouri, Hall and Varsity theaters, banded together and launched Sunday movies again. This time they were a hit and the smattering of protests by pastors was ignored — by the movie theater owners and movie-goers.
I’m sure you recall times our culture has questioned movie content or movie theater policies — remember at one-time movie theaters were segregated!
So I’m grateful times have changed and including the Olde Un made sense to me. As Debbie Simon puts it in the book, “People like a hint of naughty.”