D & R Theatre

205 South I Street,
Aberdeen, WA 98520

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Showing 101 - 125 of 164 comments

KenLayton on August 11, 2007 at 8:29 pm

My favorite is also the second one. It just seems to fit the theater like a glove.

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on August 11, 2007 at 5:27 pm

I didn’t get a look at who was removing the old marguee, I was going by in a car and couldn’t stop. I do understand that the removal was a requirement of the city due to the danger posed by the old signage. Replication is the only possibility as the marquee dates from 1949 and their was so much decay in it that it was very unstable. This was the 3rd marquee to grace the theater, my personal favorite was the 2nd one. Pictures can be seen of all 3 at the jones photo site listed above. We shall wait and see what appears.

KenLayton on August 10, 2007 at 7:13 pm

Was it Esco Pacific sign company taking the marquee down? If so, I understand it will be repaired or replicated.

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on August 10, 2007 at 5:48 pm

Was in Aberdeen on Tuesday 8/7/07 and noticed that the marquee was being removed from the building. The signage was very rotted and in danger of falling and it had to be removed. I hope they put somthing up that is in keeping with the theater and not some cheap tin awning. I guess this might mean that work is going to start on the D&R.

KenLayton on July 24, 2007 at 12:29 pm

I found a theater in Pacific Beach that I hadn’t even known existed on the Jones site.

kateymac01 on July 24, 2007 at 3:26 am

Ron, I love that site! I’d never been to it before. It’s great to see Grays Harbor’s history in photos.

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on July 5, 2007 at 2:26 am

There are great photo’s of this theater in all it’s incarnations at www.jonesphotocollection.com be shur to search using different spellings for “theater” and “theatre” as there are many different photo’s and they do not all pull up at once.

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on June 16, 2007 at 10:59 pm

Thank you Dave, it makes me very happy that someone has the forsight to see what Aberdeen can be instead of what it is. This area has so much going for it with the Olympic forest and the beaches so close that tourists can and should be a major ecconomic force along with all the locals who would also patronize both establishments.

54norm on June 14, 2007 at 10:02 pm

Hi Ron, Shaun and I have already shared the wonderful knowledge, memories, memorabilia and input once again that you shared with us a couple years ago with John, we definitely intend to get you involved. The whole project is coming together rapidly and we’ll be able to share the progress in the near future as it becomes more clear.

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on June 14, 2007 at 9:15 pm

This is good news, Aberdeen is ready for some-one with the resources to come in and get the ball rolling. Usually if one or two properties are renovated or restored the rest of the town will follow along. I would be most interested to talk with Yonich at some point and share my knowledge of the area’s theatres with him. Having grown up in Aberdeen it pained me to see the town slide the way it has in the last 30 years, this could be a wonderful destination town.

54norm on June 13, 2007 at 9:47 pm



A former Harborite and major investor in the currently-stalled Morck Hotel restoration project has purchased the landmark D&R Theater in downtown Aberdeen.

John Yonich, president of Holley Moulding Inc. in Bellevue, bought the theater property for an undisclosed amount and is looking into the financial feasibility of restoring it.

City of Aberdeen staff members are researching federal grant opportunities that could provide money to restore the theater, located at 207 South I St.

“The building’s fine; just the insides are beat up,” said Yonich, a 1972 graduate of Aberdeen High School. “If the money’s out there, why not? If it isn’t, no thanks.”

Yonich, who remembers going to movies at the D&R as a kid, said he’s just in the initial stages of learning about the theater. He’s been told it would take at least $1.5 million to restore the 83-year-old building. It needs a new stage, lighting, electrical work, box office and a paint job.

The 24,720-square-foot building and the land is owned by Leo Brutsche of Auburn. According to the Grays Harbor County Assessor’s Office, the property is valued at $214,500, but the building had no assessed value.

The focus for the Bellevue businessman right now, however, is getting the Morck Hotel project going again. Work on the circa-1924 building just a few blocks from the theater stalled earlier this year because of a dispute between Yonich and Oregon developer Chester Trabucco.

The partners disagree on the grand plan for the “four-star” destination hotel, estimated to cost $12 million to $13 million to complete.

Yonich said Trabucco’s vision for a luxury boutique hotel in downtown Aberdeen didn’t make good financial sense and pulled his financial backing. Trabucco said the project relies on a “build it and they will come theory.” His view is that the best way to ensure success is to make the project “absolutely first class.”

Yonich offered to take over the hotel project and let Trabucco develop the surrounding property. Trabucco rejected that deal and started trying to find other investors for his plan.

On Monday, Yonich said he again made the same offer to Trabucco and he hoped to have a signed agreement this week. If an agreement isn’t reached, Yonich said he intends to take legal action to dissolve the partnership and have Trabucco removed from the project.

Trabucco said Monday that if a final outcome isn’t reached this week, it will be resolved by the end of the month.

“There’s no question if we had the hotel, what a great tie-in” the theater would be, Yonich said, noting that the restored Liberty Theatre in Astoria, Ore., greatly complements the Hotel Elliott that Trabucco restored. “I’ll give Chester credit (with the Liberty),” he said. “That is impressive.”

It cost $8 million to restore the Liberty, a 700-seat former vaudeville theater that now hosts concerts, plays, music festivals and other events.

The D&R Theater was built in 1924 by businessmen Ed Dolan and William Ripley â€" The D and the R.

Four years later, Dolan teamed with businessman O.T. Taylor to build the magnificent 7th St. Theatre in Hoquiam.

The D&R was converted to a movie theater in the mid-1940s. It closed as a movie house in 1982, then hosted sporadic events throughout the 1980s.

Harborites Dave TerBush and Shaun O’Neal tried to buy the D&R Theater in 2005 and created a non-profit organization â€" Harbor Arts Foundation â€" to purchase, restore and organize programs and shows for the theater. But they weren’t able to get enough donations to purchase the building and the organization has since been inactive, said TerBush, the foundation’s president and executive business director.

“I think it’s fantastic at this time that someone like John’s taking interest in it and purchased it and does have some resources to make it into the premier theater it once was,” TerBush said. “It’s a wonderful thing. …We had our dream and it just kind of fizzled out. Hopefully the timing will work out.”

TerBush and O’Neal did a lot of research on the history of the theater and said they’d share everything they know with Yonich. They’ve had some “preliminary” talks with Yonich, and TerBush said he hopes the foundation can have a role in the restoration.

“We’ve always been 100 percent behind the Morck project, but my personal feeling has always been that I don’t go to a town to stay in a hotel. I go to a town to go to an event,” TerBush said. “We always felt a restored Morck and something like a restored D&R would play so well together. People would come to town for big entertainment.

“If you bring entertainment for people to see, they’re going to come to it,” he added. “I hope they would support both the hotel and theater. I do believe the area’s ripe for that kind of step.”

KenLayton on April 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm

Their website no longer works and has been that way for over a month.

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on March 23, 2007 at 8:16 pm

Lost Memory, took a look at your pucture and read the copy posted with it, and I have to agree I miss this place a lot! I worked in all the harbor theaters and this was my favorite, The D&R had a grand and magical quality about it. Every time I’m in Aberdeen I walk by and my first reaction is to sit on the curb and cry! Then I usually get mad that this was allowed to happen.

KenLayton on February 24, 2007 at 10:00 am

All the pictures are gone from their website except a lone drawing.

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on February 23, 2007 at 11:31 pm

Haven’t heard anything from Harbor Arts or anyone else in quite a long time.

KenLayton on February 23, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Any updates to report on the D&R anybody?

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on November 6, 2006 at 7:18 pm

Just read the article on the home page about the Palace theater In Superior WI. being torn down, I would hate to see that happen to the D&R. Unfortunatly the 2 theaters have much in common, both have been closed for over 2 decades and there is much decay and neglect with reguards to the interiors. Both theaters have sound structures but there is no plan to revitalize them. Unfortunatly the Palace lost the battle due to an uncaring city goverment. No one seems to want to try and be creative and save anything historic or old in their towns, the idea is tear it all down and build new, but new is not very exciting and their is no way most developers can match the scale and craftsmanship of building built in the boom years of the early 20th century. So once again instead of thinking about future generations and the fabric of a comunity some small minded politicos determine that all new cheap building that won’t last 80 years are the way to go.

KenLayton on May 30, 2006 at 8:51 am

Bill Gates gave $5 million to the Admiral Theater in Bremerton. Maybe they should check into that angle.

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on May 29, 2006 at 7:57 pm

I recieved an e-mail from Shaun At Harbor Arts and he stated that things are at a stand still as no financing is forth coming. They are looking for investors but it is going to be an uphill battle.

KenLayton on May 4, 2006 at 2:50 pm

I agree, Ron. City leaders there don’t care about their past let alone preserving anything. If I win the big Lotto, this is one of theaters I’d be buying and restoring for sure!

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on May 4, 2006 at 2:25 pm

Well it looks like this is a no-go for Harbor arts, I havn’t heard from Shaun in quite a while and on their web page the photos of the interior and exterior of the D&R have been removed. This is really sad news as the current owner has no interest in the theater except as storage for all his junk. What was once Aberdeens largest and most lavish movie theater may be destined to continue to decay into oblivion. I must say SHAME on the City of Aberdeen for their attitude twords all of their old buildings. An aquaintance of mine once told me that the master plan with the city was to demolish everything and start over with all new development. And with what I’ve seen on each visit to the harbor I am beginning to believe this may be true. What was once a thriving community is slowly disapearing. To bad!!!!

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on April 6, 2006 at 10:22 pm

Just recieved an e-mail from Shaun @ Harbor Arts who stated that the D&R Theater may be lost to them. They haven’t recieved the funding nessesary to complete the purchase and the current owner is no longer returning there calls. They are looking at the Aberdeen Theater (Warner Bros.) down the block, I hope they have better luck. Aberdeen needs to start thinking about saving some of the historic structures left in the city. If the city allows all the old buildings to be lost they will have a city that will have no history and no soul.

ShaunONeal on January 5, 2006 at 10:27 pm

To Rick Karhu.

I liked the work you did with photoshop on the D&R.
My name is Shaun O'Neal and I am the Artistic Director for the Harbor Arts Foundation.
I would like to know if you would be interested in doing a photoshop job of what the theatre will look like when we are done. I can supply you with all the before photos you need.

Please let me know if you are interested in this.
If you are you can reach me through the Harbor Arts Foundation web site.

Harbor Arts Foundation

54norm on January 2, 2006 at 6:14 pm

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST! TO MAKE A DONATION… please log on to our website: www.harborartsfoundation.org and click on “DONATIONS”. You will be able to print a mail-in donation form. In response to your donation, we will mail you a receipt with our Federal EIN/tax exempt number and all other information your bean counter needs. You are encouraged to call or e-mail us if you have any other questions.

ghamilton on December 31, 2005 at 7:11 pm

Can you please provide the needed info and routing to contribute to this great work.Also your federal # for my accountant,and anyone else’s bean counter.