17 S. Idaho Street,
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Dooley Perkins built the Ace in the late 1940s. Wendell then had a population of about 2000, with most of its economy revolving around farming.
The Idaho State Historical Society says that the Ace is the only Quonset-hut style movie theater in Idaho. A viewing of the building shows that it certainly has an arced roof, but the high concrete walls don’t give the appearance of being in the traditional Quonset-hut style.
During the late 50s Dooley rented the theatre out but continued to live in an apartment at the back of the theatre where he also operated his commercial sign-painting business, which at the time probably became more successful than the theater.
Westerns were the biggest draw at the Ace while musicals didn’t fare too well. Two pictures that filled the house were Disney’s “Old Yeller” and a Ginger Rogers movie, “Teenage Rebel”. Some residents who were children in the 1950s may remember the free Saturday matinees sponsored by the local merchants.
A 1970s photo from the book “Silent Screens” shows the Ace as a thrift store. In the 1990s it was twinned with seating listed as 267 and around this time, I believe, it was Called Ace Theatre and Video. A Film Daily Year Book from the 50s gives it’s original seating as 480.
It was shuttered in early 2000 and an internet search shows the building to be the headquarters of a theatrical equipment and supply company.
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