Elma Theater

113 N. 4th Street,
Elma, WA 98541

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Carbon arc lamphouse

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally named the Graham Theater which opened October 1, 1927. The Elma Theater, which was the only operating theater for miles, served as a venue for mostly live stage shows, with an occasional movie. The theater was equipped for stereo sound, operated 20 minute reels with changeover, and hah carbon arc lamphouses.

Sadly, damage from recent earthquakes hurt the Elma Theater, but volunteers were for a while working tirelessly to repair its beautiful workmanship. The building had more live bookings than any other theater in southwest Washington. It was closed in late-2013.

Contributed by Ken Layton

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

Silkpainter on March 24, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Are there any plans to restore and reopen the theater? I will be moving to Elma in the future and would love to work on the restoration. What is needed to proceed? If money is the main thing that is lacking, has anyone considered using GoFundMe? Even though the residents of Elma may not be able to finance the restoration, that doesn’t matter because GoFundMe draws from the internet. Who knows? There just may be enough interest to get the job done!

KenLayton on March 25, 2015 at 10:04 am

Nobody has heard anything about it. Still closed and boarded up. Even the E-L-M-A letters are gone from the sign.

KenLayton on May 31, 2015 at 9:37 am

Google is now listing this theater as permanently closed. :(

KenLayton on November 19, 2015 at 9:14 pm

Still closed and boarded up.

Silkpainter on December 6, 2015 at 2:44 am

I am now living in Elma. Does anyone know who I can contact to learn more about the Elma Theater and what it would take to restore it?

Silkpainter on December 6, 2015 at 2:47 am

By the way, who owns the Elma theater?

KenLayton on December 6, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Perhaps this will help you:


I understand the husband and wife who bought it live in Montesano. That is the next town to the west of Elma.

Perhaps the Grays Harbor County Assessor’s Office can help with the names of the theater’s owners.

Silkpainter on January 20, 2016 at 1:50 am

Thanks. Found the owner’s name using GH Assessor’s office. They live in Elma.

Sludgeycore on March 6, 2017 at 2:02 pm

I’d also love to see this theater restored! We just moved to Elma and are involved in the theater scene. If a GoFundMe was made, we would be happy to contribute.

KenLayton on April 26, 2017 at 7:40 pm

I understand the bank has taken back the theater.

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