210 12th Avenue S,
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Pix Theatre, Nampa (Official)
Functions: Community Center
Previous Names: Frontier Cinema
News About This Theater
- Oct 12, 2011 — Fixing the Pix
The 688-seat Pix Theatre opened on September 11, 1946 with Rita Hayworth in “Tonight and Every Night”. It later operated on and off as the Frontier Cinema. The Idaho Statesman said that attempts to restore the proposed re-named Majestic Theatre received a setback on July 31, 2003 when it was discovered that part of the roof had fallen in. Fortunately, the building was unoccupied at the time and the roof is repairable.
Before the damage there had been a $500,000 fund raising goal by the Majestic Entertainment Foundation, a non-profit organization, to restore the theatre, which closed in 2002. Community volunteers were very instrumental in the cleanup of the theatre and the foundation hopes that other citizens will buy bricks and tiles engraved with the donors names.
However by December of 2003 it had become evident that the cost of the damage, which is partially insured, would increase by almost twice the original goal. The Idaho Press-Tribune says that seating will be reduced to 300 to accommodate plans for a restaurant and venue for movies, live theater, music, comedy and other community events.
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It’s being called the Pix Theatre once again, according to it’s website. The foundation is now called the Pix Entertainment Foundation. As the Pix/Frontier was “renamed” the Majestic after it closed, and the name has now been abandoned before the place has even been reopened, I wonder if Majestic should even be listed as an aka, let alone as the actual name of the theatre?
There apparently was a Majestic Theatre which once existed in Nampa, though, operating at the same time as the Pix.
Between the 1946 opening of the Pix and at least 1951, Nampa had three operating walk-in theaters. I’ve found references in Boxoffice to both the Majestic and a theater called the Adelaide, both operated by Fox Intermountain, as far back as 1938. The last mention of the Adelaide is in 1951, when it was listed along with the Majestic among the theaters Fox had the option of closing or divesting under the terms of the consent decree.
Either the Majestic or the Adelaide may have been the house referred to as the Nampa Theatre in a Boxoffice item of September 18, 1937. Construction had been set to begin on this new Fox house on September 15. As there are no later references in Boxoffice to a Nampa Theatre, then a new name must have been chosen before opening- assuming the new house was actually built.
For even earlier Nampa theaters, I can find only one reference, this to a Liberty Theatre briefly mentioned in the December 7, 1929, issue of The Reel Journal. Either the Majestic or the Adelaide might have been the Liberty renamed, or it might have been different theater.
Here is a link to a Facebook post by Sylvia Daniel with 11 photos from 1972 including the projectors. The link will take you to the first of the photos, which you can then scroll through. Her description is below.
The Pix Theater on 12th Ave South, was one place I spent many weekend’s at when I was growing up as a teen in the 70’s. The movies, that ticket booth out on the side walk, the old marquee, concessions, peeking into the projector room upstairs on my way to the woman’s restroom, and the cry room are many things I will never forget.
Mary ran the place, and had her “guy’s” handy to toss anybody out that got disorderly. What fun day’s those were. This is one of the many places I had always wished I had pictures of the inside of.
Well yesterday was my lucky day, when I got a blast from the past in an email with these images of the Pix Theatre as we knew it in about 1972. There is a Poseidon Adventure upcoming movie displayed here, which was released in December 1972. Credit’s go to: Ronnie George’s father Marvin George was a Motion Picture Projectionist for years, he worked at most every place around the valley that showed movies, so Ronnie got to see a lot of free movies as he was growing up. How lucky! And how lucky for us that his father Marvin had the good sense to snap some pictures of the inside of the Pix. Who would have really thought to do that back then? We know better now.
THANK YOU again Ronnie George, for sharing these with us. In these images you will see shot’s of the old carbon arc projectors #3939 and #3737. There is one picture of the platter projector that replaced them #215317-r1-08-8. This replaced the old style one’s in the mid seventies. There are various shot’s of the snack bar and lobby. There is one shot to the ladies restroom upstairs. 1/23/18
May 2, 2019 KIVI News update on the Pix Theatre.
This article from Boise Weekly of November 1, 2012, says that the Pix Theatre opened on September 11, 1946, with the Rita Hayworth musical “Tonight and Every Night.” The house originally seated 688. It was closed in 1999, and the interior was gutted between 2004 and 2006 when roof repairs were carried out.
Ongoing plans by Pix Anew, the non-profit organization currently doing renovations, include 400 seats of stadium-style seating and the replacement of the lost marquee. The organization is seeking investment partners and estimates that it will need about $2,000,000 to get the house ready to open again. Pix Anew has a Facebook page, but it hasn’t been updated in almost a year.