The Sound of Movies

Fallon Theatre, 1930s renovation
This photo shows the Fallon Theatre in the 1930s, after Stone and Hull completed their renovations

1930 brought major changes. Flood retired from show business. The New Rex Theatre and its competitor, the Palace Theatre were both purchased by Henry A. Stone of McGill and W.G. Hull of Ely. McGill and Hull decided to close the Palace and work exclusively out of the New Rex.

Fallon Theatre, 1930s renovation
Projectionist Milton "Spot" Yoeman standing in the Fallon Theatre with equipment capable of playing "talkies," or movies with sound.

But by now, the Rex was already out of date. Talkies, movies with sound, had been out for 3 years, but the theater couldn’t play them. Massive renovations were done to fix the problem. This included sound and electrical reworks, allowing Fallon to hear the stars for the first time.

Fallon Theatre 1930 ad

On September 1, 1930, the theater reopened. It had a new sound system and a new name, The Fallon Theatre. For their opening they played another comedy, The Cuckoos, which was about two fortune tellers stranded in Mexico and who each find themselves in the middle of a love triangle.

Fifth Freedom

This film reel was one of many shown at the Fallon Theatre over its long history. It contains the film “Fifth Freedom” which was released in 1951, starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. You can see the order slip, which also showed when the film was to be shown.