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The Bijou Theatre has a long and colorful history dating back to 1909. Silent films were growing in popularity and Lillian Ashmun commissioned architect Ernest G. Southey to design a movie house with a two-story ballroom above. It was common for the Bijou to offer three or four Vaudeville shows every day. The price per ticket back then? 5 cents for matinees, 10 cents for evening shows! Aside from movies, the Bijou Theatre was alive with music and dance. Peter Dawe bought the building and Daniel J. Quilty, a master dance instructor, operated his College of Dancing, bringing waltz, polka, tap and ballet lessons to the city of Bridgeport until 1950.