Celebrating 93 Years of the Cowansville Princess Theater

By Taylor McClure, Special to The Brome County News
Celebrating 93 Years of the Cowansville Princess Theater
The Princess Theater circa 1950 (Photo : From the collection of La société d’histoire de Cowansville)

Beginning in the 1900’s, the cinema started to play a major role in the cultural activities of the Missisquoi region. On January 30, 1900, locals headed to the Hotel de Ville in Granby to view projected images of the wars taking place in Cuba and in the South African province of Transvaal. Before permanent movie theaters were established, cinematographic projection companies travelled throughout the region for almost a decade to provide entertainment for residents. The first movie theater would finally be established in Granby in 1909 called Le Bijiou, which could fit up to four hundred people, and it was followed by the White Star Theater in Waterloo in 1911. On Friday May 3, 1907, films started to be projected at the Town Hall in Cowansville on the catastrophe of San Francisco. There were three other films that were also scheduled to be shown. One of them was a children’s film titled called “Buster Brown and his Dog Tiger” and another was a film sung by Mabel Bernice Spear and played by Maude and Mabel Young, a pianist and violinist. It cost only thirty-five cents to reserve your seat. By 1913, films were presented to the public at the Town Hall every Wednesday night. On October 28, the town would be granted a permit by the Quebec government that allowed them to install a room at the Town Hall where these films could be shown. Almost two decades after Le Bijiou opened in Granby, Cowansville finally received its first movie theater in 1926 called Le Théâtre Princesse. It was owned by Carl H. Brock and his wife Dorris Savage Brock, and located next door to the Town Hall. See full story in the July 16 edition of the Brome County News.

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