John Albert Schuberg ('Johnny Nash')

Magician, cinema owner

Schuberg, whose professional name was Johnny Nash, came from a Swedish family living in Minneapolis, and was already an accomplished magician by his teens. In 1894 he moved to Canada, touring the country's fairs and variety halls. In 1898 he acquired an Edison projector and added films to his act. His first film show on 15 December 1898 introduced Vancouver to scenes of the Spanish-American War, and he thereafter toured throughout Canada, as were a growing number of similar itinerant fairground entertainers. Wishing to end his family's travelling life, Schuberg converted an empty shop at 38 Cordova Street, Vancouver into Canada's first cinema in October 1902. He opened further theatres in Winnipeg and elsewhere, eventually owning eight theatres in Canada and the United States and by 1919 had become western Canada's leading cinema exhibitor before selling out to another theatre chain, eventually leaving the film industry and settling in Vancouver.

Luke McKernan