Ruby Theatre

135 E. Woodin Avenue,
Chelan, WA 98816

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Ruby Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Ruby Theatre opened July 1, 1914 as a vaudeville and silent movie theatre. Original seating in the Ruby Theatre was 225 on the first floor and 125 in the balcony. In 1930 the Ruby Theatre upgraded to ‘talking pictures’.

In 1947, a new ‘tube’ Mirrophonic sound system was added, along with the Motiographic AA Projector. The exterior of the building was remodelled in 1948. In 1974, the arch above the stage was widened by two feet, to adjust to the new cinema size. The aisles were also widened and lit.

In the 1980’s a thrust stage was added, and in 1989, the seats were reupholstered. In 1993, the owners purchased auditorium lights that had come from the Orpheum Theatre in Portland, which was torn down in the 1970’s. A new sound system replaced the 1947 ‘tube’ system in April 1999.

The present owners, Jean Payne Vick, Mary Murphy and Larry Hibbard, purchased the Ruby Theatre in April of 1989, when the community was at risk of losing its only movie theatre. Except for a two-year closure from 1972 to 1974 the Ruby Theatre has been continuously running as a movie theatre since it opened in 1914. In 2013 it was equipped with a digital projector.

The Ruby Theatre was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

teecee
teecee on May 17, 2005 at 2:57 am

Nice interior & exterior photos:
View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 27, 2007 at 12:29 pm

Here is an ad on eBay for a July 1960 schedule of films at the Ruby:
http://tinyurl.com/3bywdk

tomdelay
tomdelay on December 1, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Does anyone know what became of the American Photoplayer organ that was originally in this theatre? It was still in-place to the mid 1970s.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on March 11, 2008 at 12:36 am

This photoplayer is mentioned on the history page of their website, though talked about in past tense as though it is no longer there.

I would imagine it was bought by a collector in the pacific northwest, since a simple glance through, for example, the AMICA directory seems to reveal a larger percentage of photoplayers in Oregon than in the other states in general. [however, the Ruby theatre is in Washington so perhaps this is a bad example].

I guess one of us should simply email the people at the Ruby Theatre and just ask what became of it.

DonLewis
DonLewis on June 15, 2010 at 6:01 pm

From 1914 a newsprint photo of the Ruby Theater in Chelan.

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