Published 2:56 pm Saturday, July 25, 2020

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One of the earliest movie theaters in Stanly County was run by Arnold W. Thompson in downtown Albemarle.

Thompson opened a candy and fruit business in early 1905, but the exact location is unclear. In December he added a soda fountain to expand his business.

In March 1908, Thompson moved the store into one of the ground-floor spaces in the Central Hotel, on South Second Street, and by April he had added a theater known as the Bijou.

After several months Thompson was forced to sell the business. A.B. Saleeby, who owned a candy store in Salisbury, became the new owner.

At this point the ads for the Bijou no longer appeared in the local newspaper.

It is assumed that the theatre must have closed after just a few months, but its exact fate has not been found.

{Lewis P. Bramlett – Stanly County Historical Society}