Sun Picture Gardens Cinema Tours and Activities
Sun Picture Gardens Cinema is the oldest picture garden still in operation in the world.
Sun Picture Gardens Cinema began between 1903 and 1913, when the Yamsaki family operated a theatre in their Asian goods store. The building was sold in 1913 and the new owner then converted the building into a cinema. Sun Pictures itself opened on December 9, 1916, playing silent films. In 1933, the cinema began to play films with sound. During World War II, when the town was evacuated, the cinema was vandalised, and due to a series of floods – and a boycott over segregation – didn’t truly recover until 1974. In 1989, the cinema became protected, and in 2004 was certified in the Guinness World Book of Records as the oldest open air cinema in operation.
Sun Picture Gardens Cinema is now accompanied by Sun Cinemas – an indoor cinema opened in 2002. Seating in the cinema remains true to the original layout. Six padded bench seats line the front rows, in front of deckchair style seating that takes up the rest of the cinema.