Profile America: The First Movie Theater

une 26, 1896: first movie theater opens in u.s. -- charges $0.10 vs. today at $15. Credit:

June 26, 1896: first movie theater opens in the U.S.and charges $0.10 vs. today at $15. Credit:

Friday, April 28 — For over a century, going to the movies has been one of the most popular ways people all across the country enjoy themselves. The first time a paying American audience assembled to watch a motion picture was this month in 1896, at the Koster and Bial’s Music Hall on West 34th Street in New York City. It was certainly no feature film. The movie was plotless novelty at the end of a live vaudeville show, showcasing a new projector of Thomas Edison’s. Previously, people viewed short films individually by peering into a hand-cranked peepshow unit.

Now, there are about 4,400 movie theaters in the U.S. — most of them with multiple screens. Some 133,000 people work in this part of the movie business, one that generates annual revenues of about $13.5 billion.

You can find current data on the country’s economy by downloading the ‘America’s Economy’ mobile application here.

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