Chehalis Theater

558 North Market Boulevard,
Chehalis, WA 98532

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Snack bar

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Chehalis Theater was originally constructed in the late 1920’s as a car dealership and was not a movie theater until its conversion in 1938 to the Pix Theater.

In 1958, the theater was renovated and renamed the Chehalis Theater. Tom Moyer Luxury Theaters bought it in 1980 and closed it in 1984. It was converted into a videotape rental store that same year and operated until 1994, when the video store finally folded.

The Chehalis Theater sat empty and neglected for two years until local theater buff Daryl Lund purchased the theater and restored it to its full glory. Original Art Deco light fixtures were found in the attic, restored, and re-installed in the auditorium. Brand new seats, a new snack bar, new projector, new lamphouse, and digital sound were added. The marquee was repainted and many sections of neon were repaired or replaced.

The Chehalis Theater closed in December 2008, two months after a ten-screen multiplex opened outside of town.

Contributed by Ken Layton

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

KenLayton on May 17, 2005 at 11:01 am

I understand that the lighted poster cases outside the theater are now being restored & re-lit.

ron1screen on September 1, 2005 at 4:40 pm

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.

KenLayton on September 26, 2005 at 7:53 am

The ticketing system and snack bar cash registers are now updated to modern touch screens and you can use credit/debit cards at this theater for food and tickets.

ColinH on November 3, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Built by James Gabel in 1923 for $25,000. It was purchased in 1937 for $50,000 by A.C. St. John who, coincidentally, was the same guy who sold his repair garage to be converted into the St. Helens Theater in 1924.

danpetitpas on January 8, 2009 at 10:51 am

The theater has closed.

CHEHALIS, WA — Two months after the 10-screen Midway Cinemas opened outside of town, the single-screen Chehalis Theater was forced to close last month due to poor business and its inability to obtain new films.

“I didn’t have any movies to show, because the new theater took them all,” said the owner. The city’s mayor noted “It’ll leave a big hole in the downtown.”

The current owner purchased the building in 1994 and leased it out as a video store. In 1997, the video store owner converted it back into a theater and operated it for a year before closing in 1998. The landlord then re-opened the theater and kept it operating until last December.

He said that movie company restrictions limited what he could do with the theater.

“You can’t do dollar nights and family nights. The movie companies say you have to charge this much and be open this long.”

The owner said he refuses to sell the theater and is looking at trying to tap a niche market, perhaps by offering English movies dubbed into Spanish for the Latino community.

“Who knows, I might start showing X-rated movies,” he joked.

markp on January 8, 2009 at 12:03 pm

It could be a nice theatre to show art and foriegn films. Usually these single screeners do well that way.

KenLayton on April 21, 2009 at 9:46 pm

The Chehalis Theater is set to reopen in May 2009 as a second run theater.

KenLayton on July 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

The theater is still closed.

KenLayton on February 15, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Theater is still closed, but does have a video projector installed in addition to the original 35mm film equipment.

Mikeyisirish on February 16, 2014 at 9:29 am

Are there any plans to reopen? And do you mean a digital video projector?

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