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After Grays Harbor Theatres closed due to compitition from Luxury Theaters in the Mall, a young couple re opened the theater and ran it for about a year. That is when the video games were installed and after that failed Nomah Productions took over. Nomah was comprised of John Carlberg, Mark Richey, Ron Carlson, Mark actually lived in the theater during this time. All three of us worked for Grays Harbor Theatres and wanted to see the D&R stay open. Since movies were not an option John wanted to use the theater for live performances. Unfortunatly funds ran out and the group disbanded and the owner Grace Dolan (daughter of builder Ed Dolan) gave the theater to the city of Aberdeen who sealed the building up and then sold it to the current owner who is now selling to Harbor Arts.
There are also pictures of the theater in all of it’s incarnations in the Jones Photo collection. If the collection is still in Aberdeen, Harbor Arts may want to get copy’s. There are exterior and complete interior photo shoots of the theater in it’s original form (1920’s) first remodel (1930’s) and final remodel,(1940’s). These would be invaluable as the blue prints are not exactly what was built originally. During construction there were some changes made in reguards to interior decoration. Also Joe Kruft is correct 87 was about the time that the place closed as I was also a part of Nomah and enjoyed many of those productions.
Thanks for the info.It’s much appreciated.
The original box office was on the outside of the theater but was built into the wall between the entrance doors like the 7th St theater. The current box office is actually the 3rd one to grace the theater. The current marquee is also the 3rd one. The original was quite simple, but there was a verticle blade sign running down the front of the building and there were no verticle stripes on the front. While the original signage did not have the glitz of the later additions, I think a nicely restored facade would be good.
A-Men!! And clean up the entrance, along with replacing the glass in the ticket booth. Getting rid of the chicken wire.
I’m glad to hear that the E7’s are being used while they were very old they were good machines. I have the original manuals for those proj. heads and all the equip used at the 7th st. D&R, Aberdeen and Harbor Drive-In. As for the 7th st. “seeing the light” there are those who are trying to improve things but it is an uphill battle. As Katie stated the people who run the theater have good intentions but they are not “Theater people” and that is the big chalange. But things are getting better although there have been some serious errors made in how things have been done at the 7th st. ie: the large hole in the booth wall.
Thank goodness someone is willing to do something with the D&R. My best wishes for Harbor Arts. This was always the BEST theater on the harbor. This is just the kind of enterprise that can start a revitalization of the down town that has seen so much of it’s business move out.
The “new” equipment I was referring to is the equipment you installed. Which is new compared to the Simplex e7, RCA photophone soundheads and Peerless Magna-Arc lamphouses I used when I was a projectionist there in the early 1980’s. They now also have a real projectionist, Mark Richey, who is trying to teach the people who run the theater what showing a movie is all about. Mark ran the D&R booth for many years befor it closed. The 7th street staff saw no need for screen masking, or using the curtain. There is a contigent at the 7th street who feel the theater should be a live venue only and movies are treated as 2nd class.
You may be right about the Art theater, I was just trying to think of something but first run. But the “stage” at the Aberdeen is really only large enough for a screen and speakers. There is no fly space or lighting, or dressing rooms. Having worked at both the D&R and Aberdeen for many years, the D&R was the only one equiped for stage shows. The Aberdeen was built only for movies. Unfortunatly the D&R has been closed for about 20 years and stripped and would take a vary large influx of cash to re-open. The Aberdeen should be just about turn key with the only issues being projection, sound equipment and a screen.
I agree, someone should do domething with the D&R. If not a theater maybe some kind of performance space, or restaurant and dance club, or comedy club. Something that is going to showcase the buildings attributes. Many large theater have been re-used for other purposes with-out destroying there interiors.
The restoration is coming along, all of the projection equipment has been replaced along with the stage lighting. The theater is working at getting the auditorium cieling re-plastered as there are many large holes due to prior roof leaks. Also they are looking at replacing the original seating and new carpet. The old seating is all wood except for 2 rows of loge seats and the water did a lot of damage. The old carpet is thread bare, in some places held togather with duct tape. It all takes time and money. When they are finished this will be a very nice and comfortable performance venue.
Thank You for the sales info, this is a great opportunity to save one of the areas movie theaters. I think someone could make a go of it if they don’t try to compete with the 10 plex for product. I might be interrested in trying if there is someone out there who whould be willing to partner with. Having grown up in Aberdeen I believe the area would support an alternetive cinema. The closest
Art house is the Capital Theater in Olympia. Besides I have heard that the 10 plex at So Shore Mall is'nt all that great.
I wonder whats left of the theater now that the churuch is going to sell it. The front has been extensivly altered, but if the lobby and auditorium are still intact this could be a nice art house as there is no theater in the area that shows those kinds of films. There is a 10 screen in So. Aberdeen that has the first run product tied up but the art/foriegn/classic market is untapped. A price and condition would be nice, anyone know? Before this became a church it was a nice Warner Bros theater. The only alteration being the removal of part of the wall between the lobby and the auditorium to put in a snack bar.
The Chehalis is a nice place to see a movie. The owners should be comended for efforts to keep a downtown house open in this day of multi meg screen theaters.
Having grown up in Aberdeen I have to agree with Mr. Layton that the So Shore 10 and the mall it resides in is a dump. The Elma theater could be a lot more but it is nice that it is open at all. My grandparents lived in Elma and the whole time I was growing up I don’t remember the theater being open. If it was it seemed that everyone went to Olympia or Aberdeen to see movies. Sometimes people don’t know what they have in their own backyards. The old theaters in Aberdeen are a perfect example of this.
Any information on the projectors would be nice, ie: brand name, age, are they just picture heads or are there sound heads and lamps along with pedastals, etc. Thanks
The Lynwood now has air conditioning. The manager Tj is a personal friend of mine and has done a great job rescuing this theater from closure. The theater is owned by the same people who own Bainbridge Cinemas in Winslow. Parking is still a bit of a challenge, but thats true anywhere on the island. Tj took the theater from first run to art house when it was decided that the place could not support itself anylonger. Since then the Lynwood is a solid money maker, always turning in a healthy profit. The theater is now in the midst of restoring the original marquee. The interior is rather plain but all the original elements are still in place except the procenium which was widened in the 1950’s for cinemascope. The Lynwood is a great example of how a single screen can survive in todays market. And Tj does not show any commercials or advertising, she refuses!! Instead she deliveres a 1 to 2 minute talk on the film your about to enjoy and then its on with the show. Well worth the drive to Bainbridge Island in Kitsap County Washington.
I was in the Weir Theater in the late 1970’s or very early 80"s when the theater was owned by Pat Pearson, at that time the auditorium was intact. She had tried to open the Weir for live performances only to be closed by the city who stated the building was not up to safety codes. I remember that there was a large steep balcony with box seats. There were also private boxes on the orchestra floor as well. The stage floor was also raked, (sloped tword the audience).
According to Mrs. Pearson the University of Washington had told her that this was the only theater still standing in Washington that they knew of with that kind of a stage floor. The walls were painted to resemble stone and their were floral decorations also painted on the walls. Above the procienium arch on the cieling was a large mural. I think it was of a woman or angel. The main cieling had 5 light fixtures, 1 large central fixture and 4 smaller ones. At the time I was in the Weir the seats were still in place but the stage equipment and drapery was long gone. All projection equipment was also gone. The place was in pretty run down condition as the theater was closed by D&R Theaters Inc around 1945. The lobby and entrance was remodeled into retail space, and the auditorium was sealed up and left to sit. One interesting find, when Mrs. Pearson pulled up the old moth eaton isle carpet on the orchestra floor, the pad were stacks of paper. Most of the paper went to the dump until one of the people helping her unfolded one of the pieces only to discover that these paper sheets were full color silent film posters. She saved the ramaining posters. With some good financing this could have been a real historic masterpiece.
Your absolutly right, there were many summer nights when the booth would bake running shows on Super Simplex projectors with Peerless Mag-n-arc lamps. Nothing could be sweeter than the sound of the projectors combined with the roar of the generator, all the while the sweat is running down your back. Not many people left who remember how to run movies the old (correct) way!
The 7th St was built for Ed Dolan of D&R Theaters Inc. Construction was in 1928. The theater is vertually intact with the only changes over the years being carpet and stage drapery. The original lobby furnishings are all gone except for 1 red spanish styled sofa. The lobby is beautifull with many wood beams and muraled cieling. The auditorium walls resemble spanish garden walls and the night sky above. The seating capacity is 1000. The house lights are hidden on the top of the garden walls. The original lighting system would re-create the setting sun with the lighting going from white thru yellow, orange, red then to soft blue to simulate night. There was originally a pipe organ to accompany the silent films and vaudeville was also presented on a regular basis. There is a large stage house and many dressing rooms. In speaking to one of the old projectionists I learned that, during the 1920’s they would sometimes show the same film at both the D&R in Aberdeen and the 7th St. To accomplish this they would start the film at the D&R then as each reel of film would end they would give it to an employee to drive it to Hoquiam to the 7th St., as long as there were no traffic problems or any bridges going up for river boats the film would arrive just in time and the audience would be none the wiser. Scary! The theater is thankfully today being restored as there is a lot of damage from water. The roof has been replaced along with many of the buildings systems. Films are again being shown at the 7th St. along with live performances. Hoquiam has a fine piece of movie history.
The Aberdeen theater opened in October 1929 just days before the stock market crash. The original name was Warner Bros. as the theater was built by Warner Bros. Studio. The original decoration was heavy spanish/moorish. The interior has many arches that originally contained dark red velvet valances. There are also 4 large stained glass windows each depicting a spanish galleon in sail. These windows stayed back lit during the movie for soft illumination. The auditorium cieling contains 5 large lavishly painted coves with fake wood beams that house the auditorium lighting. The theater was built expressly for films, there is no stage or dressing rooms as no live performances were ever planned. There was a small pipe organ to accompany the silent and early sound films. The original sound system was Vitaphone sound on disc. The lobby is small with stairs on either side that rise up to the balcony, offices and lounges. The original entrance doors were solid oak and the entrance and box office was tiled with colorful imported tiles. The seating capacity was about 700. The name was changed to Aberdeen Theater most likely when the studios had to divest themselves of their theaters in the early 1950’s. I have not been in the Aberdeen Theater since it became a church, but at least it has not fallen into the sad shape of the D&R.
The D&R Theater was built in 1923/24 by Ed Dolan hence the D in D&R. The original decoration was Adam in style with delicate palster ornamentation and crystal chandaliers. The auditorium held 5 large chandaliers and 8 boxes, 4 on either side of the balcony. The walls were decorated with northwest logging and forest murals. The original seating capacity was 1500. There is a large stage and 2 floors of dressing rooms. There was also a large pipe orgen that accompanied the silent films. Vaudeville was the original main entertainment at the D&R. The lobby had 2 large chandaliers and more murals with wicker furniture on the mezzanine level. The original exterior had a metal cornice on the top of the building, a simpler marquee and a box office built into the lobby between the entrance doors. During the 1930’s the theater was remodeled, all the boxes were removed the plaster ornamentation was reduced and the whole building in and out was painted. The marquee was replaced and the verticle stripes seen on the outside today were added. During the 1940’s the seating was replaced on the main floor, now about 1200. The whole interior and exterior was again re-painted and the marquee was again replaced with the one that appears today. The box office was also replaced with the current free standing one we see today. Nothing much happened with the theater except lobby paint up to the closing in the 1980’s. Today I understand that the seats are gone along with the crystal chandaliers. This was Aberdeens largest and most lavish movie palace and it is to bad that it has been alowed to be gutted and fall into such disrepair. Ron Carlson 12/31/04.