Star Theatre

515 Main Street,
Ashton, ID 83420

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According to a local historian, Katherine Lyon, the Star Theatre was built in 1915 and operated until 1957.

The Pocatello Idaho State Journal reported on August 27, 1953 that its operator, Fred Swanstrum, was filing a $150,000 suit against his competitor, George Harrigfeld of the Ashton Theatre. The Federal District Court action also included six major film companies who were accused of violating the Sherman Antitrust Law and the Clayton Amendment. The bottom line, according to Swanstrum, was that there was a conspiracy to put him out of business. Because of the lack of first-run films on reasonable terms he was forced to close the theater on June 3, 1952. Later press reports say that the film companies counter sued in 1954.

The building still exists in the middle of the block next door to Mountain Mercantile, another long time Ashton business. The rival Ashton Theatre building is still there, on the corner at 6th Street. The Film Daily Yearbook of 1950-51 lists the Star Theatre with 300 seats.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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