Magic Lantern (1)

123 S. Wall Street,
Spokane, WA 99201

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Tom Stuart and Edward Coker founded Spokane’s first Magic Lantern in 1973. After its opening it used vintage 1931 projectors for its one screen until a 1979 remodeling gave it a chance to update to a platter system. The number of screens eventually increased to three.

The Spokane Spokesman-Review says that the Magic Lantern, with various operators, opened and closed four times between 1973 and 1998.

The Spokesman-Review said in 1997 that the Wall Street Magic Lantern owners were moving to another location and planned to retain the Magic Lantern name for their new theater. However the tenants, who were moving into the old Wall Street location to open a brewpub and cinema, said they owned the Magic Lantern name. It was claimed that historically the named belonged to the Wall Street address and both parties said that they would seek a resolution in court.

From available news reports it appears that the name issue became moot as the original Magic Lantern reopened in November 1997 as a brewpub/cinema and closed December 31, 1998.

It wasn’t until 2007 that the present-day Magic Lantern opened in Spokane at 25 West Main.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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