Woodland Theater

A Street,
Woodland, WA 98674

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Contributed by Kimberley Smith

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TKHutchinson on May 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm

The Woodland Theatre was built circa 1926. I am not sure who built it but one story had it that a group of local businesspeople felt that the town needed a modern theatre, and went together to build it. By the mid 1930s the theatre was owned and operated by Nate Rhodes, who continued to operate the theatre until the late 1950s.
Rhodes then rented the theatre out to a parade of operators, none of which lasted very long, until he finally sold the building in 1969.

The auditorium was nearly square. Originally built for silent movies, the walls were painted plaster. When sound was installed (the only Crockett sound system I have ever seen; a Seattle manufactured knock-off of Western Electric) the interior was covered with ten-test board, to reduce the echo. There was no organ, stage or orchestra pit; it was designed only for movies.

Rhodes modernized the theatre in the mid 1950s, adding cinemascope, magnetic stereo sound, a new entrance, and an ajoining soda fountain.

Later operators included Lee Brown (a local schoolteacher), Bob Rising (from Portland), Gordon Back (a projectionist from Vancouver, Wa), Tom Hutchinson (who operated the theatre as a high school senior), and Gene Manring (who eventually turned the building into an auction house).

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