1105 Commerce Avenue,
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The Roxy opened as the Chinese-style Peekin in 1925. Its pagoda-style facade survives today. It was built by a local contactor, Val Quoidbach, for a customer who fled without paying, leaving Quoidbach with the theater. Quoidbach, his wife and their two small sons moved into the apartment over the lobby and went into the movie business.
The Quoidbachs ran the theater for 10 years. The name changed from the Peekin to the Roxy sometime in the 1930s, and the theater was sold to W.G. Ripley. The Roxy underwent extensive remodeling under Ripley, adding a three-sided marquee and a vertical sign.
During World War II, the Roxy was the top moviehouse in Longview, showing major-studio, first-run productions. It was sold to the Sterling chain of Seattle in 1945, and the first-run policy moved to the larger and newer Longview Theater. The Roxy switched to weekend operations and showed B pictures, and finally announced ‘Closed for the Summer’ in June 1946. The ‘Closed for the Summer’ sign remained in the box-office window for years.
The Roxy was later used as a church and a live theater. It was sold in 1983 to Darrell and Doreen DeWitt, who opened a furniture store in the auditorium and enclosed the old theater entrance and adjacent retail spaces to add display space. The DeWitts preserved the stage arch, although it is filled in with sheetrock and painted. The arch is all that remains of the old theater.
The furniture store went out of business in 2001.
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