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That is the sound equipment rack.
Looks like these are RCA “Old Style” speaker junction boxes on the posts.
According to the February 15, 1960 issue of Boxoffice Magazine, a man named Mel Stoney was associated with this theater.
The City of Seattle plays hardball with regulations. I remember when the Parkway Plaza 12 was being built. The electrical inspector required the contractor to wire ALL the surround speakers in conduit all the way to each individual speaker’s terminals! Same for the screen speakers too. I guess they were worried about the speaker wire catching fire?
From Boxoffice magazine July 3, 1954 page 45:
YELM, WASH. — Frank L. Willard’s Yelm Theatre including all the equipment and furnishings will be sold at public auction on Saturday (10) at the county courthouse in Olympia. The new theatre which was opened in September 1952 is being sold to satisy Willard’s debts.
Boxoffice also reported in their August 28, 1954 issue on page 51 that Frank Willard and his wife Blanch were found guilty in Tacoma, Washington of income tax evasion. Thus his Yelm, Washington theater and his Parkland, Washington theater were seized by the government.
The Boxoffice magazine story from December 6, 1947:
This theater had all Ballantyne Pro-35 projectors, Ballantyne Model 7 soundheads, Ballantyne “VIP” pedestals, and Strong Super Lume-x 2,000 watt xenon lamphouses. Also had Strong 3-deck platters.
Will they still be running 35mm film projectors?
Theater opened on Saturday April 18, 1914 and closed on Tuesday December 2, 1924. The manager of the theater was a Mr. H. T. Moore. The last movie shown at the theater was “Single Wives” starring Corinne Griffith and Milton Sills. The openings in 1924 of both the Liberty Theater (later called the Olympic) and the Capitol Theater forced the Ray Theater to close.
Walter Graham built this theater and called it the Graham Theater. He also built a theater in Elma, Washington which he also called the Graham Theater (that is now called the Elma Theater).
A story in Boxoffice magazine dated August 28, 1954 (page 51) reported that the owner/operator of the Parkland Theatre, Frank L. Willard and his wife Blanch were found guilty of income tax evasion totaling $6,000. Both were stenced to prison and the Parkland Theatre and his Yelm Theatre were seized.
One of the former owners of the theater, Layton Stalcup, passed away suddenly on June 1, 2009 at his home in Olympia, Washington at the age of 89. Layton and his brother Ray owned and operated the Community Theater in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.
Opera Pacific no longer has anything to do with this theater.
Boxoffice magazine December 29, 1951 issue mentions John Lee built the Park-in and operated it as part of the Columbia Basin Theatre Corporation.
Boxoffice magazine November 10, 1951 page 54 states a Chester Weaver takes over the Madrona Theater in Onalaska from Arthur Fox. Boxoffice magazine issue of February 23, 1952 mentions Chester Weaver as operating the Onalaska Theatre.
Current website is this:
The theater is still closed.
A Walgreen’s drug store definitely occupies the site of the former theater.
The Jones Historic Photo collection has a picture of the theater, photo # 7013_1 dated October 1929.
You may have to click on accept terms before being able to view the picture. The picture can be zoomed in for a clear view of the theater.
My pictures are from the year 2000. Do you guys know if there is anything left of this theater today?
Let me dig around in my photo files. I’m pretty sure I have some pictures of this theater I can post.
Correction: it was September 8, 2001 when I was driving through town and snapped this picture.
Nearby theaters: Regal Martin Village 16, Lacey Drive-in, Capitol Theater, State Theater, Avalon Theater, Rex Theater, Ray Theater, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Century Olympia 14, Skyline Drive-in, Shelton Cinemas, Yelm Cinemas.
Operated by Regal Cinemas.
You must go inside the mall in order to get to the theater boxoffice and snack bar.