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First Movie Theater

Going to the movies is one of the most popular ways people all across the country enjoy themselves. The first time an audience sat down to watch a movie was in 1896, at the Koster and Bials Music Hall in New York City. It was not the kind of feature film today's audiences are used to seeing, complete with popcorn and candy — it was more like a novelty at the end of a live vaudeville show. Its purpose was to showcase Thomas Edison's new projector known as the vitascope. Previously, people saw short films individually by looking into a box-like peepshow, cranked by hand. Live vaudeville shows died when sound came to the movies. Today, there are nearly 6-thousand movie theaters in the nation, with an average of six screens each.


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