Remembering the lost theaters of Boise

posted by CSWalczak on September 29, 2009 at 7:45 am

BOISE, ID — In a a two-part article recently published in Sunday editions of Idaho Statesman, area historian Arthur Hart writes about the movie theaters of Boise, Idaho. Many, if not most, are long gone, some even from memory. One, however, the Egyptian, still survives.

They didn’t have multiplex movie theaters in Boise a century ago, but Boiseans had a range of choices, all of them Downtown.

In 1910 you also could choose the entertainment offered by the Dime, the Nickelodeon, or the Bijou. In a sequence that was repeated often with those pioneer theaters, the Bijou, at 921 Main, became the Woods in 1912 and the Rex in 1914. In its prime, the Bijou offered six movies a week. In January 1911, these included two comedies, “Tag Day at Silver Gulch” and “The Gardener’s Ladder,” and two dramas, “The Englishman’s Honor” and “Washed Ashore.” A film described in the ad as “industrial” was titled “Wood Carving at Brienz” and “The Home of the Seal” was listed as “educational.”

Read the articles here:
Part I
Part II

Theaters in this post

Comments (2)

irishcine on September 30, 2009 at 5:48 am

Interesting articles, obviously based on some research on early exhibition. The story of the all family cinema orchestra is amusing, and it is also interesting to reflect on the inconvenience of being called “Kaiser” in 1917.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on September 30, 2009 at 8:58 pm

In July of this year, my wife and I made a round trip to Salt Lake City to visit relatives. It was so darned hot there that we returned to Oregon earlier than planned.
However, stopping in Boise for a decent meal, we accidentally spotted the Egyptian Theatre just a few blocks from the state capitol.
We bought tickets not caring what was playing, were charmingly greeted and made welcome to tour the building before the picture started. My camera has never clicked so many times in one place! THIS THEATRE IS ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS with a stage and proscenium almost identical to its ruined sister in Hollywood, Ca.
They actually ran the curtains twice -oh what joy but we regretfully missed was the Wurlitzer pipe organ awaiting someone to play it for an enthusiastic audience. WE WILL RETURN SOON!

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