Eden Theatre

Wilson Street and Idaho Street,
Eden, ID 83325

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The Eden Theatre was a small showhouse located by the main highway years before the advent of the interstate highway system. Even then you could speed pass it, hardly even noticing it.

The Eden Theatre can be traced back to at least 1921 by stories in the Twin Falls Daily News. The Film Daily Yearbook of 1950 listed its seating at 150, which would be a little more than a third of Eden’s population of 413. On May 8, 1951 an ad in the Twin Falls Times-News announced the opening of the new Eden Theatre, which had been closed for several months. Its new owners were the Jesse McBride’s. It had an added sloping floor with new seating, which had increased to 230. It was redecorated and a new screen and projectors were added.

It closed in the late-1960’s, but in May of 1972, the former operator of the Frontier Theatre in Jerome announced that he was moving his operation to Eden because he was denied a beer permit in Jerome. He earlier had been sentenced to jail and forced to close the Jerome location because an X-rated film policy put him at odds with the community. According to press reports, the town of Eden, 26 miles away, was not too happy with the news of his coming to the theater, which he had renamed the Cinema Grill and Pizza. In June the owner was arrested in Eden, but not for X-rated films. He was arrested for selling beer to a state liquor inspector! In July it was reported that he was tired of fighting the county and sold the building to his partner who said she had plans to continue the X-rated policy. The new owner said that she attempted to show family movies on Thursday but no one showed up. In October the owner went to court to challenge the Eden’s city councils decision to deny her a beer license. It appears that the plans for an X-rated theater in Eden faded away because after October of 1972 no news of its operator or an Eden Theatre appeared again in the news.

In June of 1976 and ad appeared in the Times-News announcing an auction of the theater building and all of its equipment. Today the building still exists off the main drag in Eden.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Interesting story, “G” rated can be the kiss of death .but PG films should do okay.And you can’t book one night just for the family in Small towns.

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