Morro's first theater
If you live nearby, you recognize Ed Frawley’s Music Store and the Thai restaurant.
These are some of the oldest commercial buildings in Morro Bay. Something else of interest is
that they have been owned by the same family for over a hundred years. Howard Caccia informs me the theater
was built by Harry Woods (Schneider property) in 1905 and the builder was Maino Construction. Silent movies
as well as stage productions were seen here.
The restaurant was added next door perhaps in the late 20's and became the Rock Cafe. The theater became
a hardware store in the 1930’s and was owned by Rudolph Tanner and his eventual partner Hearl Watts. Later
it was perhaps a paint store, then a music store (Paynes Music), an antique store and now a music store again.
Ed Frawley informs me the place has great acoustics.
It would be nice to have a photo of the old theater but this is the best we can find in this 1929 or 1930 photo. It may be
they are moving things out but you can see what appears to be a box office in front. Please note the palm tree and
the entrance to the Schneider home. A photo of the home is elsewhere on this site.
Here is the stage and how it looked from the booth where the spotlights were and also the projector. Perhaps the change to
“talkies” was the demise of this old theater. In the 1920's a sound track was added to film. Some articles say this
happened in 1928 and maybe that is when movie sound became widespread. If anyone knows, write to me.
This is how the projection booth looks today.
much more about the hardware store