Audion Theater

103 E. Third Avenue,
Ellensburg, WA 98926

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Audion Theatre (2012)

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Audion Theater was built in 1888 and opened as the Ellensburg Theater. In the 1920’s the theater was renamed the Colonial Theater and began showing movies. In 1935 the Colonial Theater was remodeled and the name was changed to the Audion Theater. From the mid-1980s until late-2007, the former theater building housed an antiques store, but became vacant in early-2008. In the summer of 2009, it had reopened as a retail unit.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Gooper on October 19, 2005 at 5:40 am

The Audion was know as a Western house, as mostly that genre, from the Monogram and Republic studios, was the staple. Occasionally a first rank picture would show, like John Ford’s ‘How Green Was My Valley’. By the 1960s the house was shuttered. It is noted for its Deco ‘spillway’ facade, recently painted. The marquee is intact. The western end of it is butted up against the canopy of its nextdoor neighbor, the Pix (a.k.a. The Village; Grand Central – recently closed). Its lobby is modest but pleasant. Auditorium access is via two ramps which flank this narrow house. Some of the original accoustic wall covering remains, stencilled in dim Deco patterns. The stage had a proper fly gallery, and the pit below is considerable. The Audion remained derelict until an enterprising furniture builder turned it into an antiques mall in the mid 1980s.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 6, 2008 at 7:43 am

This is a photo of the Audion Theater building.

Gooper on February 6, 2008 at 8:29 am

As of late 2007, the antiques mall that occupied the Audion for almost 20 years has gone out of business, and it stands empty, like the former Pix, next door. It could easily be restored as a picture house.

Gooper on February 6, 2008 at 2:59 pm

The Audion was part of the small Mid-State Theatres organization.

Gooper on September 9, 2009 at 12:39 pm

As of 2009, the Audion is again occupied by small specialty shops.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 9, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Here’s a brief item from the February 26, 1938, issue of Boxoffice: “Fire damaged Clarence Farrell’s new Audion Theatre in Ellensburg and the house will be closed for some time for repairs.” That’s the earliest mention of the Audion I’ve been able to find, and I can’t find the Colonial or Ellensburg mentioned at all.

A July 30, 1938, Boxoffice item said that Clarence Farrell was showing first-run movies at his Audion and Midstate theaters in Ellensburg. The Midstate had opened the previous year, according to an announcement in Boxoffice of December 18, 1937. The 1938 item also said that Clarence Farrell had been running a theater at Ellensburg for 17 years, and though the item didn’t give a name for it, it was most likely the Audion when it was called the Colonial.

The July 20, 1946 issue of Boxoffice reported that Clarence Farrell, having purchased the Pix and Liberty theaters at Ellensburg from Fred Mercy, would dismantle his Midstate Theatre there and would use the Audion as a stand-by theater. I’ve found no later mentions of the Audion in Boxoffice.

Gooper on June 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm

As of 6/11, the Audion building is FOR SALE.

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