Dishman Theatre

8722 Sprague Avenue E.,
Spokane, WA 99212

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Opened in 1939 with seating for over 500, the Dishman Theatre was notable for its Moderne style facade, including a large tower with the theater name spelled out on each side. By the late-1970’s, the Dishman Theatre had begun to show pornographic films. The theater now houses a gentleman’s club.

Any additional information on the Dishman would be appreciated.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 14, 2005 at 11:29 am

Film Daily Yearbook;1950 edition gives the address of the Dishman Theatre as 8722 East Sprague Avenue, Dishman, WA. Seating capacity 500.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 17, 2007 at 7:40 pm

The 1970 IMPA lists the East Sprague and Dishman Theaters, and says both are in Spokane. The two theaters were part of Favorite Theaters, Inc, and were operated by J.J. Rosenfield. Here are the Favorite theaters at that time, all listed as being in Spokane:
Post, Garland, East Sprague, East Trent, North Cedar, West End, Dishman.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 27, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Here is a photo, circa late 1970s:
http://tinyurl.com/yu2dtk

TKHutchinson
TKHutchinson on May 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Ken mc got the list of Favorite Theatres in Spokane right, but the East Sprague, East Trent, West End, North Cedar were all drive-in theatres.

The Dishman was (as far as I recall) owner operated until the late 1960s, when Favorite gave it a remodel job and turned it into a first run Hollywood big deal cinema. I remember we played Billy Jack there for months (I was occasionally projectionist there at the time).

A new UA twin was built not too far west of the Dishman, and I think around that time Dishman became an X rated house. That was the time when single screens were being phased out in favor of twins or triples. Favorite Theatres was purchased by Sterling Recreation Organization, from Seattle, around this same time.

The Dishman Theatre was unremarkable, a good example of small town theatre construction but plain, and overall a good place to see a movie.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 24, 2009 at 2:14 pm

There is a July 1983 ad here from the Spokesman-Review:
http://tinyurl.com/yerwcum

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on December 24, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Any ideas on the basis for the Dishman name?
Also, it’s funny to see the 1984 photo with the gun store sign on the side of the building. Since the Dishman blade itself actually looks like the barrel of a Glock.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on December 24, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Oh…duh, A.T. Dishman. Guess I should read ALL the past posts first.

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