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Tabernacle

Methodist Church (1880s)

Address: N.E. Corner, E. Locust & E. 3rd.

This was Long Beach’s first major public assembly space. According to Claudine Burnett, former head of Literature and History, at the Long Beach Public Library, Long Beach’s enthusiastic involvement with movies began at the turn of the century. In Burnett’s chapter, “Long Beach Motion Picture Industry: 1911-1923,” she explains that the first motion picture was shown, June 22, 1900, in the old Tabernacle, at the northeast corner of Third Street and Locust Avenue. It was an Edison picture with a combat, along with marine scenes. The Tabernacle was also an historical building, erected in the 1880s by the Chautauqua Assembly of Long Beach. In 1900, the Tabernacle was the only assembly hall in Long Beach, a small town then with a population of 2,252 inhabitants.  For a small town, the Tabernacle could serve and did serve many functions at the same time—theatre, lecture hall, and church.

Tabernacle 1906

Courtesy of University of Southern California, on behalf of the USC Special Collections