men in a line in the World in Mottion entrance

World in Motion, 1909 – 1918

In the winter of 1909, Albert Ford and Patrick Dolan leased space on the second floor of the Warren St. Knickerbocker building. It had been for many years, the location of the Glens Falls Opera House. Both men were residents of Massachusetts, so Dolan moved his family to 12 Bacon St. so he could be closer to day-to-day operations. The World in Motion was to be an entertainment house of the highest degree, showing reputable moving pictures, illustrated songs, and vaudeville acts. After receiving their official license from City Chamberlain Bazinet, the business partners opened their theatre on February 25, 1909 to an amazing public response.

The signage displayed out front clearly announces what to expect at the World in Motion. Their stated policy of “Come when you like, Stay as long as you please” let patrons know this place was accommodating and informal. An available private room for ladies and children made them feel welcomed and comfortable. Continuous programs were changed daily and accompanied by the “Famous Durand Family Orchestra”. All of this, for the low price of five cents.

Many notable events, shows, and moving pictures took place at World in Motion over the years, beginning with the “Tri-County Firemen’s Convention” song being sung there in July, 1909. Two years later, a record-breaking crowd attended a showing of Bobby Leach’s death defying plunge over Niagara Falls captured on film. For added affect, Mr. Leach himself was present in the audience and witnessed more than a few gasps of astonishment at his daring feat, no doubt. In 1913, moving picture footage of the Warren County Centennial was shown and garnered much attention from enthusiastic viewers.

The World in Motion theatre had held the distinction of ten years of continuous operation when in 1918, it came to its final season. Manager Ira Spencer celebrated the bittersweet occasion by booking two special features. As soon as the curtain came down one last time, work crews arrived to begin remodeling to make way for new lessees, Bird and Maussert, as well as a new theatre – the Rialto.

L – R: Charles Briggs; Mrs. Brayman; Sally Burt; Billy Burt (coronet); Bill Irwin (clarinet); Alfred Ford and Patrick Dolan (owners); Entertainer; Projector Operator; Eva Threehouse; Entertainer