Weed Palace Theater

180 Main Street,
Weed, CA 96094

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 17, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Thanks for the tip about the fire, kevinfglover. I found a report about a fire at the New Weed Theatre the August 25, 1932, edition of the Medford Mail Tribune of Medford, Oregon. The item said that the house, which had been in operation only nine months, had been destroyed by a fire following an explosion early the previous morning. Walter B. Leverette, of the Cordilleran Theatre Circuit, owners of the house, said that the theater would be rebuilt with concrete construction. The burned house had been in a wood framed building.

This was probably operated by Robert Lippert later, before being taken over by the Naify family. In 1947, Lippert bought the Leverette Interstate Theatres, a nine-house chain. I don’t know for certain if the New Weed was still under Leverette’s control at that time, but it most likely was, as it had been part of his chain at least as late as March, 1945.

The news that the New Weed had been in operation nine months when destroyed by the 1932 fire means that it might not have been the original Weed Theatre that had operated in the 1920s. While it’s possible that the original house had merely been closed for a time and then renovated and reopened by Leverette in late 1931, but it could also have been in a different building. Either way, the original Weed Theatre was not in this building, newly constructed in (probably) 1932 or 1933 after the fire.

kevinfglover on February 17, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Good to see the old Palace Theater again. I was manager there from ‘88 through about '91 working for Steve Naify. I graffitied in the space under the right stairway going up to the balcony. I hope it’s still there. I still remember the first film I ran while there. “Mississippi Burning”. I lived in the attic for a while. If I remember the history correctly, the original theater burned down sometime, I believe, in the thirties or forties. All that was left was the outside walls. The marquee fell in a windstorm sometime in the late forties and was never replaced.

JohnRice on October 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm

In October 2014 the Weed Palace looked clean from the outside but apparently deserted inside. Wikipedia says Sylvia Massey, former proprietor of the famous Radio Star Studios closed down her operation there in 2012. A massive wildfire which devastated much of residential Weed in September 2014 reportedly narrowly missed the Weed Palace and rest of downtown Weed.

TLSLOEWS on August 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Thanks JuliaG.Have a great night.

juliagreen on March 8, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Poor little Weed. It isn’t even in Humboldt County!

TLSLOEWS on December 29, 2009 at 9:42 am

I was going to see a movie there,but I forgot.

TLSLOEWS on December 3, 2009 at 11:36 am

Oh by the way do they have a smoking section?

TLSLOEWS on December 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

I bet they sell a lot of popcorn there!!!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Somebody will smoke it out eventually.

kencmcintyre on May 16, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Hopefully you can weed out all this information. Keep us posted.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 16, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Oh, there should probably also be an aka of Palace Theatre. The only reference to the name I can find comes from the May, 1985, issue of Boxoffice, which refers to “…Main Street Amusement’s Palace Theatre in Weed, Calif….” but there might be old ads or listings confirming the name somewhere. I’ll be on the lookout for them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 16, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Though later issues of Boxoffice Magazine call it simply the Weed Theatre, the earliest references to this house I can find in Boxoffice date from 1945, and these call the house the New Weed Theatre. All these items have to do with the installation of new projection equipment. The August 11 issue says “The New Weed Theatre in Weed will soon be equipped with an improved projection room.”

That Moderne front doesn’t look like anything built in the 1920s, even in a major metropolis, let alone a small town like Weed. If the theater dates from the 1920s, a major remodeling must have been done. That would probably account for the use of the name New Weed Theatre in the 1945 articles. The name dates to at latest 1937, as a card in the California Index cites a Motion Picture Herald item from June 12, 1937, about the New Weed Theatre.

So, there should be aka’s of Weed Theatre and New Weed Theatre.

kencmcintyre on December 26, 2005 at 3:52 pm

I can’t find the theater in this picture, but any town named Weed deserves at least one photo, don’t you agree?

View link

HowieT on December 9, 2003 at 7:41 pm

I was one of the last film buyers who booked this house back in
the mid 80’s when it was operated by an independent named
Stan Strain. It was a steady little grosser. Stan retired
and closed the venue. At a later date, it reopened under the
auspices of one of the Naify’s.
I will always have a fondness for The Palace. I am so glad
that it is now preserved and useful for another owner.

William on December 9, 2003 at 9:35 am

When the Weed Theatre was a movie theatre it seated 701 people.