First Picture Show in Ironton

This Date Long Ago

February 23, 1966

Written by Charles Collett

Submitted by: Robert Kingrey

The first picture show in Ironton occurred 99 years ago tonight at Union Hall, Second and Lawrence Streets. Citizens packed the hall to capacity of 600 on February 23, 1867 to see the first entertainment of its kind, which might be called the birth of the picture show in this city. Picture slides were thrown upon a screen for the first time in color by a new invention called magic lantern.

It was a two-hour “Panorama of New York City”, admission of 25 cents, which the newspaper called the most educational entertainment ever to visit the city. On this date in 1861, city council authorized the purchase of lots on the corner at Third and Olive streets for a town hall. The price paid for the lots was $800 and the town hall was used until 1920 when it was purchased for a site for the First National Bank. The name of Olive Street was changed to Park Avenue in 1897.