Bing Crosby Theater

901 W. Sprague Avenue,
Spokane, WA 99204

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Opened February 22, 1915 as a movie theater called the Clemmer Theater. Designed in a restrained Neo-Classical style by noted theater architect Edwin W. Houghton, the Clemmer Theatre originally sat 800 patrons and boasted a 4/32 Kimball organ, one of the most impressive instruments in the city. Among the Clemmer’s first musicians to helm the organ was Jessie Crawford, eventually recognized as one of the great silent film organists of all time.

In 1988, the movie house underwent a substantial restoration and the building eventually became known as the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center, or “Met”, for short. In 2006, the theatre was renamed Bing Crosby Theater.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Patsy on December 10, 2006 at 4:09 pm

This a.m. on CBS Sunday Morning they did a segment on what will be called the Bing Crosby Theatre which is now the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center. The following article gives details of the plans for the name change. View link

spokanetomcat on May 5, 2007 at 9:46 pm

Here is a history web site for this theater. Comes with pictures too.
View link.jpg&imgrefurl=

kencmcintyre on January 15, 2009 at 9:12 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, January 1960:

Bud Schmidt of the State at Spokane, Wash. used the “girls only” gimmick to get a running start with “Yellowstone Kelly”. Billing it as the “Kookie Matinee”, Schmidt had 350 avid fans of Edd “Kookie” Byrnes waiting at the box office when it opened at 10 a.m. The promotion was carried out with the city’s top-rated teenage radio station.

rivest266 on May 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm

February 22nd, 1915 amusement page: View link
no big ad for this theatre.

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

A 2012 photo can be seen here and here.

Tinseltoes on August 5, 2012 at 10:46 am

Front cover treatment as the State Theatre in January, 1977: Boxoffice

Tinseltoes on August 5, 2012 at 11:01 am

Description from same issue: Boxoffice

Tinseltoes on August 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Described as the Clemmer in this 1915 trade article: archive

Tinseltoes on February 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Current name uses the “er” ending of the “T” word:
Bing Crosby Theater.

Croonsome1 on August 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Pretty crazy, Bing actually dated my great grandmother Florida who was also a singer and a dancer at the met theater. He had his ACTUAL first born son in this relationship. My grandfather who ended up with the last name Scott instead of Crosby because he had left.

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