Audian Theatre

315 East Main Street,
Pullman, WA 99163

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Located at 315 E. Main Street in downtown Pullman, the historic Audian Theatre is a majestic example of the type of single-screen theatre that once dominated towns throughout the United States.

The original Audian Theatre was built in 1930. The New Audian theatre reopened in 1936 with its current L-shaped layout and the 600-seat auditorium facing east. The original Audian Theatre, with a much smaller auditorium, faced south. With the demolition of a section of the Martin Garage in the mid-1930’s, the present auditorium was constructed and the theatre reconfigured.

The Audian Theatre and its sister theatre the Cordova Theatre, have been the main options for Pullman moviegoers for more than 70 years. The Big Sky Motor Movie on Wawawai Road operated from the 1950’s until the early-1980’s, and The Old Post Office Theatre opened in the 1980’s but closed several years ago. The Pullman Drive-In Theatre was located near the present-day city playfields and pre-dated the Big Sky Motor Movie, but closed in the late-1950’s. The Varsity Drive-In was located on the Pullman-Moscow highway near the current site of Champion Electric. It closed in the early-1970’s.

The Audian Theatre was closed for a time in the mid-1990’s. Best Theatres Inc. reopened the Audian Theatre in December of 1997. The theatre was thoroughly cleaned, repainted and a completely new DTS digital sound system was installed. A redesigned concession stand and a modern popcorn machine were also added later.

The Audian Theatre has been given new life with record-breaking engagements of the new “Star Wars” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogies. Its large auditorium and impressive sound system are its strengths.

Many current and former Pullman residents have thanked us for continuing to keep the Audian Theatre open despite the trend to close single-screen theatres. We thank all of our patrons for supporting this classic theatre that has been such an important part of downtown Pullman.

Description courtesy of Pullman Movies (www.pullmanmovies.com)

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

teecee
teecee on April 26, 2005 at 10:24 am

Photo (“X” out of the print screen):
View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 24, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Here is a photo circa 2004 by Seth Gaines:
http://tinyurl.com/yau57qr

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Pullman, by Robert Luedeking and the Whitman County Historical Society (Google Books preview) says that the Audian Theatre had previously been called the Grand Theatre. There’s a photo of the Grand from about 1920, and the building is quite recognizable from the terra cotta cornice and parapet trim it still sports.

The 1936 reconstruction of the Audian, which was nearing completion in late summer, according to the September 12 issue of The Film Daily that year, was apparently confined to the auditorium and the interior of the building. I haven’t found any early mentions of the Grand Theatre in trade publications, but it was being advertised in the Pullman Herald in 1916.

A 350-seat house for movies and live events called the Pullman Theatre opened in December, 1913. I haven’t found the Pullman Theatre mentioned in the Herald later than 1915, about a year before the earliest mentions of the Grand Theatre. It’s possible that the Pullman Theatre became the Grand Theatre.

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