Lincoln Heights 4

2930 E. 27th Avenue,
Spokane, WA 99223

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Sterling Recreation Organization (SRO), which had merged with Favorite Theatres in March of 1972, opened the Lincoln Heights 2 on November 23, 1972. On August 29, 1979 a third auditorium, designed by Norm Sylvester, opened. The premiere attraction in the 600-seat auditorium was Disney’s 70mm, Dolby stereo sound version of “Sleeping Beauty". In September of 1985 the fourth auditorium opened.

In December of 1986 The Spokane Daily Chronicle noted that Cineplex Odeon had purchased SRO for $45.5 million. In 1992 Act III Theatres took over the Cineplex Odeon theaters in Spokane. The final operator to move in was Regal Cinemas in December of 1998.

Designated as “under-performing", Regal closed the theatre on February 18, 2001. The Spokane Spokesman Review said that in the previous six months Regal had closed six Spokane theaters.

The theater was later converted into a church.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

CSWalczak on October 26, 2012 at 7:05 am

There are pictures of this theater on its page at CinemaTour.

eriksmith on September 12, 2015 at 5:05 am

The Lincoln Heights was really one of those theaters that theater-lovers love to hate. An undistinguished shopping-mall ‘70s crackerbox palace designed on the cheap. I guess the only good thing I can say for it was that the soundproofing was all right, and you couldn’t hear the movie playing in the auditorium next door — more than could be said for most such places of the time.

Two memories stand out. I remember when “Pennies From Heaven” played there, and it is the only time in my life I have seen a theater manager address the audience before the show, announce that many people had been disappointed, and that if you left during the show you could get your money back. (And the irony is I think “Pennies From Heaven” is one of the best movies I’ve seen.)

The other is this. Spokane basically shut down the week after May 18, 1980, when Mt. St. Helens blew up. So much volcanic ash fell on the city that every business and every school shut down. Authorities warned everyone to stay inside and avoid breathing the gunk, and emergency surgical masks were distributed by the score.

After five days or so everyone in town had cabin fever, and finally, at long last, one theater in town opened its doors — the Lincoln Heights. I was there that night. The place was packed. I think only one movie was playing — something no one had ever heard of. A movie called “Friday the 13th.”

Yup, all in Spokane who dared to venture outside were treated to one of the nastiest, gnarliest slasher movies ever made. I still remember the way that audience screamed…

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