The first flicks presented inside the Pickrell Building, on Main Street Ottawa Kansas were held on the second floor, inside a room the size of a closet.
That was the origin of the Plaza Cinema, and that was back in 1905. Admission was literally standing-room only. There were no seats, as the amazing “moving picture shows” presented were a few minutes long each. On the first floor of the building was a jewelry store and a men’s clothing store.
The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Plaza Cinema as the “Oldest purpose-built cinema in operation.” It cites 1907 as the year it opened, as that indicates the first record of the theatre in commercial advertising.
The cinema shows went full-size, on the first floor, in 1910. The movie house continued operating. Today Plaza Cinema presents modern-day movies Wednesdays through Sundays — as the oldest continuously operating cinema house in the World!