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When did this drive-in close?
From the photos posted on your Web site, it looks like you have your work cut out for you. Wow.
Still waiting to hear about a demolition date for this theater. It is definitely coming…
What’s the latest on the preservation efforts here?
There’s a photo of the marquee at this site:
Every spring, we hear that it will be the last year of the Valley 6. And then every summer, the drive-in opens. This dance has gone on for years. With the place in disrepair as Ken describes, I wonder if this will finally be it. Then again, the story lostmemory references above says the Valley 6 is a money maker for Pacific Theaters. (The story above also says that the City of Auburn has development plans for that land, although there’s no real timeline for “the end.”)
People in Hoquiam want this theater to succeed … but mostly as a home for live shows. And that’s too bad. As Ken says, I wish they could “see the light” about what a good movie theater can be. As the posts on the Cinema Treasures sites for the Aberdeen and the D & R point out, there’s a huge void for movie lovers in the Grays Harbor area. (Well, there are a lot of voids in a lot of areas in the Grays Harbor region, but I won’t get started on that …) It would be a blessing if the 7th Street could be used for both live shows and movies, and it sounds like maybe there are some steps being taken to improve that balance. YAY!
Do you have information on the Pe Ell Tokay?
Dave, who do we contact to get involved or to donate? I am excited about the possibilities, and I wish you and your team all the luck in the world. Aberdeen could use something good … Aberdeen’s been in such a depressed state for so long, it could use this kind of positive jolt. My husband lived in Aberdeen and Montesano for a number of years, and we always drove by the D&R hoping something good would happen there before something bad (like fire, demolition, condemnation, etc.). GOOD LUCK and THANK YOU!!!
This theater was originally the Rainier Theater. It sat across the street from the Roxy. My Internet research tells me that the Roxy was the more elegant theater. However, the Rainier featured large screens set on large stages, and the walls of the auditorium were lavishly sculpted with ornate woodwork and heavy tapestries (www.burgesslegacy.org/rtn.htm).
Here is a fabulous old photo: www.burgesslegacy.org/rtngfx/637.jpg
The theater was torn down in 2002, and those dated, old signs still stand on the corner. There’s nothing there. Just a big empty parking lot. I swear, those signs are there to taunt theater lovers.
FYI: The Seattle Cinerama falls under the AMC chain now, not General Cinemas.
Does anyone have demolition photos? I’d love to see them.
I recently discovered that my movie-fanatic brother-in-law had looked into leasing this space. He agrees with you, Ken, on the price, and he says it needs handicap-accessible upgrades and other updates as well. Too bad. It always makes me sad to see it just sitting there. Guess we know why, though …
Yes, Ken, the State’s exterior could use some love!
I always felt that these theaters weren’t clean, particularly Capital Mall, and both were smelly and uncomfortable. (Truth: A friend of mine walked into a Capital Mall auditorium once and turned around and walked out. He couldn’t handle the smell.) And I really could hear the movie in the auditorium next door almost every time I went to Capital Mall. In addition, the bathrooms at both theaters were small and cramped and dated.
And, yes, Lacey was LEAPS AND BOUNDS ahead of Capital Mall. But 1994 was a long time ago in terms of moviegoing, and Act 3 hasn’t been in charge in awhile. I applaud all the love and care that went into those theaters for so long — God knows it’s a lot of work to run a theater! — but those two theaters have served their time.
I only started going to Lacey and Capital Mall in 1994, so I don’t know how they were before then. But I do know that these theaters have suffered in recent years, particularly with the addition of Yelm Cinemas and the Lakewood Stadium 15 (just a short car trip up I-5 from Olympia). Too many screens, just like you said.
I am always sad when a theater closes. I have tons of fond memories of both of those theaters. And, yep, in a couple years the new theater will be just as sticky and dated.
And none of these theaters — Martin Village, Capital Mall, Lacey Cinemas — are “movie palaces” … sadly. Fun places to see a movie? Yes. Classic moviehouses like the Pantages in Tacoma (in its Roxy days) or Grauman’s Chinese in Hollywood? No.
I completely concur about Century Theaters' ongoing “talk talk talk.” I was throwing that out there as something that is proposed. I could have also added that in 2000, Galaxy Theaters announced plans to build a theater in Lacey, too. Heck, Lacey named a street near where those theaters were supposed to be Galaxy Drive!!!
Just my 2 cents. Not meant to offend. Just one moviegoer’s experience.
EW had comments about each theater — what made in unique, why it was a good movie-viewing experience, what the theater is doing right. The listings were a sidebar to a story about why people aren’t going to the movies.
Having been to only one of these theaters (Grauman’s Chinese), I cannot speak to whether this is a good list or not. Other than for historical value, I’m not sure I’d put Grauman’s Chinese on the list. It’s expensive, super-crowded. It’s become a typical megaplex. That was disappointing to me.
Not mentioned on the list is Seattle’s Cinerama, which is a pretty charming moviegoing experience. I was actually surprised that it was left off.
The marquee reminds me of the one that was on the late, great Coliseum Theatre in Seattle.
The Web site says this theater is open again.
I thought the King Cat was used for live shows, not as a church. Did something change?
The renovations are complete on this theater! It is now a venue for live music and the performing arts. Its grand opening is tonight. Great story and some photos at www.dailyastorian.com …
Is this the same White City Theatre seen in this photo?
I’m finding conflicting information about this theater’s seating. Other sites list its capacity at 600. Anyone?
If you have information about this theater — even bare bones info — you should add it to the listings here.