Historic Movie Theaters of Columbia, Missouri

Arcadia Publishing

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Historic Movie Theaters of Columbia, Missouri by Dianna O’Brien

From converted saloons and warehouses to movie palaces and multiplexes, for more than one hundred years, Columbia’s movie theaters have reflected the changes around them. In 1928, the Hall Theatre showed its first talkie, the third debut of talkies in Missouri. America fell in love with cars, and Columbia’s three drive-ins featured pony rides, monkeys and playgrounds. In response to segregation, which forced Black patrons to sit in the balcony, in 1949 two Black entrepreneurs built the Tiger Theatre, a double-duty movie theater and nightclub. Today, Columbia features a cinema in a repurposed soda bottling plant and holds the international documentary festival True False Film Fest. Author Dianna Borsi O’Brien recounts the history of all twenty-eight of Columbia’s movie theaters.

About the Author

Dianna Borsi O’Brien attended the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri and fell in love with the city. In 2010, a magazine assignment to write about the city’s historic properties program led to her falling in love with learning and writing about Columbia history—a love that hasn’t abated since. That love ushered her into creating a website to share her enthusiasm about Columbia’s amazing history, from movie theaters to cemeteries and everything in between. That site, CoMoHistoricPlaces.com, continues to grow and draws hundreds of visitors every month. When she’s not looking for some obscure historic detail for her website, Dianna can be found reading, hiking, traveling with her husband or walking her naughty dog, Zippy.

Product Specifications

Published by The History Press, 2021. Paperback, 176 pages.