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Bishop Visitor's Center

Intro

Now

The historic Bishop Twin Movie Theater, as it stands today, has been an entertainment venue for Bishop and Eastern Sierra audiences for almost 100 years. On the outside it appears to be little changed from its beginnings in 1925, but the two theaters have state-of-the-art digital screenings, up-to-date sound systems and comfortable seats with plenty of leg room.

The theater shows first run movies daily with two show times each evening, Monday to Friday, a matinee and two evening shows run on Saturdays, and Sunday showings are a matinee and evening show. Two new movies are screened each week starting Fridays with the occasional big blockbuster running an extra week or two.

Bishop Twin Theater at left just beyond Joseph’s Market.

Then

Movie magic in Bishop started in the early 1900s after Harry Holland passed through Bishop as an entertainer with a travelling Chautauqua show. He liked Bishop so much that he quit the show and returned to Bishop where he opened the Bishop Gem Theater in the building that is now Rusty’s Saloon. He used hand cranked projectors and thrilled audiences with the latest films. One film in particular became a favorite for a scene of a train rushing head-on toward the audience. Moviegoers would scream, and Harry would back-crank the projector and run it at them again.

What Makes It Great

Now

This is one of those wonderful movie experiences where you can decide on the spur of the moment to go see a show. Residents and guests in town can stroll or cycle the few blocks from nearby residences and lodging facilities with ease and in complete safety. Late summer’s evenings can be cool and dusky, and a winter’s night is usually sparkling and invigorating. The drive to town from outlying neighborhoods, lodgings, and campgrounds takes just a few minutes and parking is quick and free, just around the corner from the theater. Ticket prices are inexpensive, and the concessions sells freshly popped, hot buttered popcorn, candy, sodas, and other typical movie treats – at yesteryear’s prices.

Then

In 1918 Harry Holland bought the old Opera House in Bishop, where the Masonic Hall is located today at 156 East Line St. In addition to the movies Harry screened there, he hosted all sorts of entertainment from dances to musicals, theatrical presentations, banquets and even basketball games. Kids sat on benches near the front for stage shows and adults were seated further back on folding chairs. The balcony held the projection booth and box seats along the side were sold at a premium. The three-story building also had large meeting rooms on the upper floor, offices on the second floor with the theater and ballroom space taking up the first floor. The entire building was made of wood and in 1924 it went up in a blaze of fire so hot that it melted the windows of Harry’s new concrete house next door. The flames also consumed a few nearby businesses, but fortunately no casualties were sustained.

Soon after the Opera House burned down, Harry and his wife, Belle, found their new movie theater location on Main Street, right where it is now. Movie magic in Bishop was only interrupted for a short time. They began again with one screen and soon expanded the venue to house two screens. The Bishop Twin Theater has been in business ever since.

Harry Holland was especially fond of children. He never turned a child away for lack of funds, and during the depression he often let folks in free of charge. Halloween was a special time at Holland’s theater and Halloween shows were screened for free for kids. The marque sign would invite the “youngsters” with “no room for oldsters”.

Who Is Going to Love It

Now

There are seldom long lines for tickets or concessions, making a movie night in Bishop a happy, stress-free family fun outing. It’s casual and friendly and a night at the movies for two adults and two kids, with a few treats, might cost just a little over $40. Now that’s a good old-fashioned deal.

Then

At the time the Opera House burned down, a projectionist by the name of Jack Foley was employed by Harry Holland. Jack Foley is the Foley in Foley artist. Movie buffs may be familiar with the many Foley arts; Foley sheets, Foley footsteps, Foley reels, Foley walker, Foley editor and Foley studio. “Foley is the audio recording of a synchronous performance of an action or effect seen on screen by a Foley artist.” It is art of sound effects for motion pictures.

Jack Foley was born and raised in New York and attended Public School No. 158 at Coney Island. One of his classmates was James Cagney and he met Cary Grant who was a stilt walker at Coney Island. Jack moved to California in search of better weather and was soon working in the movie industry as a stunt double. Soon he discovered Bishop and the Eastern Sierra and so began a lifelong love affair with the Owens Valley. He moved to Bishop and raised his family here.

Read the full story here.

Jack worked in a local hardware store and at the Opera House theater. He was also a columnist for the Inyo Register and a regular contributor to Universal International Studio Club News. He maintained his movie studio contacts and it was his ingenuity that brought natural sound to films at the very beginning of the “talking movies”. It is a trade that continues to this day.

Best Season

Now

It’s always a good time to go to the movies. Escape from the summer heat or warm up on a frosty winter evening. Sometimes you just a need a comfy, dark space to relax and be entertained. One that thing hasn’t changed in all the years of movie going is … it’s a great place be with someone special.

Start or end your evening with a meal or treat at one of the many downtown restaurants and bars. Many establishments offer outdoor seating, which is deliciously comfortable on a warm summer night. Some have light and bright interiors and others are dark and romantic. There’s a world of good food available in Bishop to complement your movie night any time of year.

Then

Jack Foley was one of the first people to recognize the potential of the Eastern Sierra as a filming location and, with the support of Bishop’s shop owners, he created a publicity campaign to entice Hollywood film makers to Bishop and the Eastern Sierra. He became a location scout and brought numerous productions to film in the Owens Valley. The region continues to be a favorite and convenient location for Hollywood movie makers.

When films were being shot in Bishop, the crews would stay in downtown lodgings for the duration of the shoot. The footage from each day would be sent down to Los Angeles for processing and returned the next morning for review. Each afternoon the stars and crew would watch the rushes from the previous day in the Bishop Theater and then go out on the town for dinner and drinks in the local eateries.

Check the list of movies made in the Eastern Sierra here – courtesy of the Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine.

Directions. Parking. Regulations.

The Bishop Twin Theater is located at 237 N. Main St. in downtown Bishop. Convenient and free parking is located just off Main St. on Church St and an adjacent lot.

Ticket prices are:

Children (Ages: 3-12yrs) $5
Adults (Ages: 13-64yrs) $8
Seniors (Ages: 65+) $5
Early Bird Matinee Show (all seats) $5

For more information call: (760) 873-3576

Find out what’s currently showing at Sierra Wave Online.

Check out the Digital Bishop Visitor Guide!

Archived Stories

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11 hours ago

Are you spending your Sunday relaxing, doing something you love, or sharing it with someone special? Wishing you a beautiful day!
#visitbishop
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Are you spending your Sunday relaxing, doing something you love, or sharing it with someone special? Wishing you a beautiful day!
#visitbishop

 

Comment on Facebook

So love bishop My late husband spent every holiday except Christmas there with our motorhome So many wonderful memories

Love the beautiful starry skies..

I'm spending my day wishing I was there. It's good to have goals! 🥰

My retirement goal!

Love it up there

Oh gosh I have so many wonderful memories of sitting by a lake or creek or river up in Bishop. ❤️

Yep. My bride of 42 years & I just returned from a week’s long visit to Bishop. We can’t wait to go back!

I lived there for 14 years. One of my boys was born there. Truly miss the Eastern Sierra. Bishop was special and still is.

Just got home from spending 4 absolutely grand days there!! Loved every minute looking forward to the next trip!

I want to go back and visit

Mt. Goode from Long Lake

Marlena Leister

when ever I drive thru Bishop I know I'm getting close to home and when I stop in Bishop it's usually to rest for a day and relax.

Paradise

Cesar Sanchez

No but some day maybe

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2 days ago

Checking the view from one of our favorite trees. Yup, another beautiful day in Bishop 😍.
#visitbishop
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Checking the view from one of our favorite trees. Yup, another beautiful day in Bishop 😍.
#visitbishop

 

Comment on Facebook

That tree in the fall is one of my favorite spots

Beautiful.oak tree!!!!!

It’s a great place to visit

It is beautiful 🤩

I forgot, when does it start cooling off up there? Is it September or October? I want to visit (when I can), but I'd prefer in one of the cooler, mild seasons (like Fall or Spring).

Was just there !!

California

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2 days ago

How many of you are familiar with these old buildings south of Olancha? Well, here's a little history about them:Motorists traveling on El Camino Sierra about 14 miles south of Olancha, have probably noticed the ruins of a few dilapidated rock buildings with accompanying other small structures and mobile homes on the west side of the highway. This would be Dunmovin. First known as Cowan's Station, it served as a way station for the Cerro Gordo feight wagons, a supply center for nearby mines, a work camp for LADWP construction workers and finally as a gas station, garage, motel and cafe for travelers on El Camino Sierra. When Charles and Hilda King purchased the property in 1936, Hilda was relieved to finally be "settled down" and renamed the property as Dunmovin...according to this little poem credited to Hilda. "We’ve moved from yon to hither Now we’re set and provin In all the world we are perhaps The only folks dunmovin" Like many such establishments, fuel efficient and more reliable cars spelled the end of Dunmovin. It closed for good in the early 1970s...and now stands as a sentimental reminder of times gone by along El Camino Sierra. Thank you for following us on Facebook if you enjoy our posts, and for sharing them with others you think may enjoy them. We sincerely appreciate it! ... See MoreSee Less

How many of you are familiar with these old buildings south of Olancha? Well, heres a little history about them:

 

Comment on Facebook

Me, driving to a Bishop, many times. Also Crystal Springs Water, too!,

Wow I never knew this existed. Going to have to check this out on my next visit. Thanks for the new adventure.

Great place to visit

At the top of the Dunmovin grade is the turnoff to Haiwee Power Plant. I worked there for a year from the summer of '78. The Espee spur line from Mojave to Lone Pine was still in operation with weekly (?) peddler freights headed to town. The China Lake Weapons Center conducted aerial operations all up and down the Paniment and Owens Valleys including strafing runs over the dam. Loved that year. I'll never forget it

Great info!

Love the history! We always chuckled at the name of Dunmovin but didn’t know the history.

Can't swear to it, but I think I remember passing those as a kid in the 50s, maybe 60s, and they were occupied?

My parents use to be friends with some people who lived there/owned it. Cant remember his name, but I believe he was a Lawyer...

HAHA--I TOLD you Tim Alls!!! ;0 LOL

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3 days ago

Nature is incredible... Photo of Norman Clyde Peak and Glacier (or what’s left of it) reflected in a small tarn at 11,600ft elevation in the South Fork of Big Pine Creek.
Thanks @deserth2o for the photo!!
#visitbishop
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Nature is incredible... Photo of Norman Clyde Peak and Glacier (or what’s left of it) reflected in a small tarn at 11,600ft elevation in the South Fork of Big Pine Creek. 
Thanks @deserth2o for the photo!!
#visitbishop

 

Comment on Facebook

Always beautiful scenery

Awesome 😎

,BEAUTIFUL AREA

We used to live there. We could look out our window and see it every day

Home Sweet Home

Beautiful

Been there when glacier filled this valley in late summer and fall. Sad to see them melt away

Great picture. Norman Clyde was one incredible men of history. Had an interesting life. Wonder if his story is being told in schools today? One case where truth is much better than fiction. <3

Ryan Johnson

Cesar Sanchez

Jana Weaver

Niki Hansen-Daniel

Next time? Jorge Vargas

California

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watermelon_snow

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4 days ago

This is the view from the top of Mt. Tom, in case you have ever wondered what it’s like up there. Many of us love this majestic mountain, but will never see the summit in person. @tarahhnasaurus is a single mom who is achieving her goals and inspiring us. Thank you for the photo!!!
#visitbishop
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This is the view from the top of Mt. Tom, in case you have ever wondered what it’s like up there. Many of us love this majestic mountain, but will never see the summit in person. @tarahhnasaurus is a single mom who is achieving her goals and inspiring us. Thank you for the photo!!! 
#visitbishop

 

Comment on Facebook

Full value, great day.

Congrats Lady!

Always wanted to climb Mt.Tom! Closest I came was living on Mt. Tom Rd!

Outstanding !!!!!!

Great view from up there.

Yes! Thanks for sharing.

Amazing!

Thanks for sharing!! Hiked up to Horton lakes about 40 years ago wanted to keep going, but my buddy’s didn’t

Beautiful but way to High for me😳☺ I don't do high things that well☺

Nice😎

Doug Foley and I climbed Tom back in the 80's. My Ma used to live in Rovana.

thanks for posting this beautiful picture...I don't think I have ever seen a picture from the top of Mt. Tom Kudos to you !

I have been there (as well as on top of Humphreys) and I can attest, the view is sublime! The rock skiing to get down is quite entertaining as well!

I want to go there

Mt Tom was the first summit I did as a teen. Until I climbed it I imagined that I'd look down onto Fresno. I was really surprised to see so many more mountains on the other side.

My oldest maternal cousin met his fate on the flanks of Mt. Tom.

Climbed to the top with Skye and Scotty on Dara’s 50th BD! It was awesome! What a view!

Rachael Nicole Banton this is the peak we see when we hike George like

Single mom, with many "friends " to take her places

Way to go lady!!! You ROCK!! 👍

Any rock climbing with that? Lol! I'd like to try it if it's non-technical. Some boulder scrambling is expected but I'd have to train to readjust to that altitude.

Wow

Matt Cunningham

Cody

💪💪 Appears taller than Ragged Mountain in Penobscot County, Maine.

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