Prairie Theater

208 N. Spruce Street,
Ogallala, NE 69153

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Prairie Theater...Ogallala Nebraska

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Prairie Theater was built in the 1930’s as a 550-seat single screen theater. In May 1979 it was twinned with seating for 225 and 175.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on February 15, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Close call in December 1974:

30 Escape Blaze At Ogallala Hotel

Ogallala, (UPI)-A fire swept through the Dutchess Hotel in downtown Ogallala early Monday forcing the evacuation of an estimated 30 persons and leaving two hospitalized from smoke inhalation. The three-alarm blaze raged out of control for more than five hours as an estimated 60 firefighters from Ogallala, Brule and Grant waited until daybreak to enter the burning four-story structure. Firemen poured gallons of water onto the burning corner building and prevented the blaze from spreading significantly to two businesses to the north, the Prairie movie theater and Vivian’s Fashionette.
Authorities said the fire broke out in the hotel basement in the furnace area about 3 a.m.

Firemen, who entered the structure at daybreak, said three floors on the north side of the hotel, in addition to the north half of the roof, collapsed as smoke and flames continued to billow from the building. Firemen were standing on the roof of the movie theater in 15-degree temperatures spraying water on the hotel. The hotel building housed the Continental Trailways bus depot, a hobby shop in the basement, the Merle Norman cosmetic studio and Crook’s Shoe Service.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on September 1, 2010 at 10:03 pm

From 2010 a photo of the PrairieTheater in Ogallala.

Trolleyguy on December 23, 2012 at 7:42 am

From the listings on the website and the pictures on the marquee, this theater seems to be a twin screen.

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on April 15, 2015 at 11:24 pm

I’m pretty sure it is a twin, trolleyguy. See the Boxoffoce Magazine article o posted about its twinning in the photos section.

It was also part of the Evergreen Theatres chain and this should be added to the list of past operators.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 16, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Here is an item about the opening of the Prairie Theatre from the January 17, 1936, issue of The Film Daily:

“New Nebraska House Opens

“Ogallala, Neb. — The newest theater property in the state, the Prairie here, opened this week and represents the biggest building project of its kind in two years in this area. Owned by A. F. Kehr & Son, it cost $85,000 and seats 552. Kehr will operate the house. He still operates the Princess.”

A thumbnail biography of A. F. Kehr published in 1940 said that he entered the movie theater business in Ogallala in 1912. In 1940 he was still operating two theaters there. Presumably the second house was still the Princess, which dated back to at least as early as 1920.

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