Omwick Theatre

2nd Avenue SE,
Valley City, ND 58072

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Built by O.M. Wick, and named for himself, the Omwick Theatre opened on April 8, 1950. It outlasted its older and smaller rival, the Piller Theatre, by about two decades, but had closed by 1987. The marquee has since been removed, but a vertical sign with the theatre name in cast concrete is still intact.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 2, 2014 at 10:51 am

American Classic Images has two photos of the Omwick Theatre. This one from April, 1980, shows the house still in operation, and this one from June, 1987, shows that it had been converted into a thrift shop by then.

I’m not sure what occupies the Omwick Theatre building now. The door has a sign reading “Open Door Center,” but an Internet search reveals that Open Door operates several facilities in Valley City. Their home page says that “…Open Door Center provides day, residential and vocational services for individuals with disabilities including children and adults with developmental disabilities, adults with mental illness and people with a traumatic brain injury.” But there’s no indication of which function or functions the Omwick building serves.

Windows have been punched in the side wall of the auditorium along 2nd Street, and they are all at the same height so it’s likely that the floor has been leveled (downhill wheelchair races by developmentally disable kids are surely one of the last things any sort of care facility would want.) The building might be anything from a clinic to offices to a residential facility.

A web page about Page, North Dakota, says that the Omwick Theatre’s seats were installed in the Page Theatre there, but doesn’t say when (CT’s Page page.)

This web page has a small photo of the Omwick Theatre in (probably) 1970 (it was showing Love Story with Ryan O'Neil and Ali MacGraw.)

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