Kiggins Theatre

1011 Main Street,
Vancouver, WA 98660

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Kigggins Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in downtown Vancouver, the Kiggins Theatre was named for and financed by local mayor J.P. Kiggins. It opened in 1936.

The theater’s design is austere, yet elegant. Noteworthy features include Art Deco patterns on both interior and exterior walls which are rendered in fireproof concrete and still-functioning custom light fixtures placed throughout the building.

The neon Kiggins sign is original, but the marquee was updated in the 1950’s.

The Kiggins Theatre was closed on May 31, 2010, with a triple feature programme;“Alice In Wonderland”, “The Bounty Hunter” and “The Loser”. After some renovations, the Kiggins Theatre was reopened in 2011.

Contributed by Andrew J. Gregg

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on January 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thats a shame,what a nice marquee and vertical.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on March 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

The current owner (who seems a bit reluctant to be in the theater business) expects have this theatre operating again by August, 2011: View link.

KenLayton
KenLayton on July 13, 2011 at 8:58 am

Will they still be running 35mm film projectors?

homeden
homeden on September 6, 2011 at 12:23 am

The theater reopened mid-August 2011 (!) along with helping to host this year’s Columbia Gorge International Film Festival. Check out Kiggins Facebook page if you want to see photos of the remodel in progress. They also have an on-going program of events. Looks like a great community based effort.

andygregg
andygregg on November 12, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Delighted to report the The New Kiggins Theatre has been lovigly restored to its genuine 1936 condition. From paint colors to new neon in the marquee, the building’s rennovation was executed by a number of professionals as well as a cadre of skillful volunteers. 35mm classics and digital premiers are featured. In addition, the original smoking lounge has been tricked out to serve food, beer, and wine. The early reception has been wonderful, and downtown Vancouver is coming alive!

Aodem
Aodem on March 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Helping with the early part of renovations was a blast… It has turned out beautiful. Thanks Bill for fix'n her up.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm

An article by Helen Kent with a few photos of the Kiggins Theatre was published in Boxoffice of November 11, 1936 (additional photo on the subsequent page.) In addition, a view of the theater’s stairwell appeared as the frontispiece of that issue’s Modern Theatre section.

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 9:00 am

A 2011 photo can be seen here.

MotoFox
MotoFox on September 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Already been converted to a boozer. I read in the Columbian about a month ago that they’ve filed a “Kick Starter” to put in all-electronic projection and remove its film equipment. It’s always sad to see a classic go by the wayside. I already take a dim view of boozers, but converting a theatre like this to another dime-a-dozen video hall is the ultimate form of blasphemy.

Kiggins, R.I.P.

andygregg
andygregg on March 12, 2014 at 7:07 am

Dear MotoFox,

So, are you suggesting that a parking lot, like the one that currently memorializes The Castle Theater, once Vancouver’s preeminent showplace, is preferable to the Kiggins that must serve beer and wine to survive as a monument to our downtown’s heritage?

Few Vancouverites younger than the age of sixty years even saw the exterior of the Castle Theater. It ceased operating as a movie theater in 1954, and was razed in 1967 to serve as the parking lot at the corner of Evergreen and Broadway you see today.

If single-screen theaters are to survive without government subsidy or non-profit status in 2014, operators must depart from the traditional business models that governed movie houses from the advent of the sound era (1927) and the impact of television (Eisenhower administration.)

Incidentally, establishments serving beer and wine were key components to the commercial success of downtown Vancouver before Prohibition and during the Second World War.

Our Kiggins Theatre was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A parking lot would never enjoy that esteemed place in a city’s heritage district.

Sincerely,

Andrew Gregg,
Historic Preservation Chairman
Vancouver, WA

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