Documenting the American South


Going to the Show

View Wilmington Timeline

Edisonian (opening date: June 1907; probable close: July 1907)

The Edisonian was an early and short-lived movie venture in downtown Wilmington that arose from the sale of the Odeon Theater in June 1907 by J.H. and Mary Lillycrop shortly after the suicide of Mrs. Lillycrop's son, Fred Dahmer, who managed the Odeon. The Odeon was purchased by J.C. Vereen and an unnamed partner, who renamed the Odeon The Edisonian. However, shortly before the Edisonian was scheduled to open at the site of the Odeon (126 Market Street), Vereen announced that he was moving his new venture "away from the ill-fated stand on Market Street." It is unknown where, exactly, the Edisonian relocated. It is mentioned in a July 9, 1907 newspaper article as operating "in the far northern part of Wilmington," which suggests that it relocated to the Brooklyn neighborhood. An article published at the end of July reviewing attractions at Wilmington's three theaters showing movies (Bijou, Theatorium, Academy of Music [aka Thalian Hall]) fails to mention the Edisonian, suggesting that the theater had ceased operation. Vereen does not reappear in newspaper accounts or city directory listings in Wilmington as associated with the movie business after his brief proprietorship of the Edisonian. Two J.C. Vereens are listed in the 1907 Wilmington city directory: one is proprietor of a saloon at 912 Princess St; the other runs a grocery store on Dock Street.