A veritable romance, typical of
the spirit of true Americanism which has made this land of opportunity
the leading nation of the world, might be written around the facts
and events in the history of the Warner family, with Niles as
its locale and dating from the time, slightly over a score of
years ago, when a boy of fifteen industriously working in his
little shoe shop was a familiar figure to all who passed by his
window on State Street, which was located exactly opposite the
site where the Warner Theatre now stands. There are no doubt many
citizens of Niles who can recall Harry Warner's first start in
business in this modest way and who will be gratified to have
been spectators of the career which he has carved with the tools
of pluck, perseverance and ability, and which, with the aid and
co-operation of his four brothers, have made the name of Warner
one of the leaders in an industry ranking as the fifth largest
in the United States.
It is a far cry from the pioneer days of the
motion picture, with its "store shows" and short flickering
films, to the present day development of this most popular of
all entertainments, with veritable palaces showing productions
that cost fortunes to construct and here again is Niles the
location of a most concrete example of the evolution of the
Many residents of Niles will also
remember the first exhibition of motion pictures in this city
given by Mr. Albert Warner, a crude affair perhaps when contrasted
with the handsome edifice which now becomes the shrine of the
silent art in this community, but as the art has developed so
have its pioneers progressed with it and the Warner Theatre with
its initial program stands as an eloquent example of the fact.
Although the five sons of Mr. B.
Warner have gone forth into the fields of commerce to seek their
fortunes, their thoughts are ever centered on the Ohio town where
they spent the days of their youth, and where they received the
first start of their business careers.
Blessings sometimes come in disguise
and the silver lining of the cloud that was cast by the smoke
arising from the ruins of the old Niles Opera House was the decision
of the sons of Mr. Warner to erect in Niles a temple of the motion
picture art which would stand as a tribute to the parents whose
love and devotion had given them the strength to fight the battles
of life, and also as a mark of gratitude to the community which
had given them their start in business. A monument as distinctive
in its way as the beautiful Memorial which serves to keep ever
fresh the memory of our martyred President McKinley.
The Warner Theatre was not erected
as a commercial venture in the strict sense of the word, but as
a social centre where the people of Niles could enjoy the very
best productions that the combination of science, art, skill and
ability could offer on the silver screen.
Here will be shown for the first
time all the productions bearing the name of Warner, and by virtue
of the affiliations and prominence of the Warner Brothers, the
product of many other photoplay producers also.
The opening program of the Warner
Theatre is unique in many respects, one of the principal being
the fact that every foot of film flashed on screen is a Warner
product It is a program that the people of Niles may well take
a paternal interest in.
Never before in the history of American
theatricals has a photoplay theatre opened its doors under similar
auspices. A project conceived, executed, and financed entirely
by members of one family, long residents of this community, and
presenting an entertainment consisting entirely of attractions
bearing the name of the same family.
The entertainment is also one that
stands strictly on its merits, as every picture will be sent forth
into the open market to meet the keenest competition, and will
later be seen on thousands of screens throughout the entire civilized
world, but--- after Niles has seen them first.
The pictures presented for your
edification on this occasion represent the widest possible latitude
of photoplay productions. The feature production "Why Girls
Leave Home," being a super deluxe photodrama based upon a
vital topic that concerns every home, enacted by a cast of stellar
calibre and magnificently produced it promises to be one of the
biggest pictures of the current year. Next in importance is the
spectacular and thrilling jungle adventure production entitled
"Miracles of the Jungle." Here is the apotheosis of
the "thrill." Man and beast are shown in a series of
adventures that will make the blood tingle, and the manner in
which the scenes are executed is a vivid depiction of the daring
and ingenuity of the modern photoplay director.
Last but by no means least, is the
comedy number with the Warner star, Monty Banks, featured. Millions
are caused to laugh daily at the antics of this modern mountebank,
who is known the world over as "the Beau Brummel of the screen."
Thus will be noted that the program
runs the entire gamut of the photo-dramatic scale, and affords
an undisputed example of the wide range of the production activities
of the Warner enterprises.
And so the Warner Theatre opens
its doors to the public of Niles. Not simply a theatre, a place
of entertainment where amusement is purveyed as a commodity, but
a structure built on a foundation of sentiment and filial devotion
created with the ideal of providing a center where the people
of Niles may for a time lay aside the cares of life and in comfort
gaze upon the magic screen whereon appear as in the Yogi's crystal
vivid scenes if the past, present and future.
The Warner Theatre is thus offered
to you with the hope that you will make it an integral part of
the community, a project of Niles, for Niles, and by Niles.”