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Talbot County Goes to the Movies by James Dawson

Movies have always been popular here. We don’t know when the first movie was shown in Talbot County, but traveling exhibitors were showing moving pictures on the Eastern Shore at least as early as 1900. Talbot’s first picture house or nickelodeon, as they were also called then, was the Pastime Theatre run by the Cox brothers. It was in business at least as early as 1908, across from Talbot Bank at 15 Dover Street in Easton. Early movie houses were called nickelodeons because admission

was 5¢. Nickelodeons were located in converted storefronts and not the actual movie theaters. The screen might have been a sheet hung on the wall, and the movies were short, one- or two-reel silent films, sometimes accompanied with music by a piano or a live band. The Pastime Theatre featured music by Cox’s Orchestra. Only one photo exists of the interior. In 1909, there were two nickelodeons in town: Cox’s and the slightly higher-end Cannon’s at 316 E. Dover Street. By 1915-16, they

Easton’s Music Hall, left, is next to the Talbot County Courthouse. 177

June 2016 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2016

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