Family Theatre

Whitman Avenue,
Rosalia, WA 99170

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Rose Theatre, Audian Theatre

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The 150-seat Rose Theatre is listed in the 1916 city directory as well in other documents going into 1924. The Rose Theatre was still open by 1931 when the seating capacity was given as 250. By 1933 it had been renamed Audian Theatre and was listed as (Closed). It had reopened by 1933. By 1935 it had been renamed Family Theatre.

The 1941-1943 editions of Film Daily Yearbook list the 250-seat Family Theatre as a (portable) theatre. By 1950 it had 200-seats and was still open in 1957.

Contributed by john coursey

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2022 at 2:52 pm

Motion Picture Herald of September 18, 1948 had this news:

“The new Rosalia Theatre, Rosalia, Wash., has opened. H. H. Wheeldon is the owner of the house, which replaces the theatre destroyed by fire several months ago. Mr. Wheeldon also operates five other houses in eastern Washington and Idaho.”
This probably accounts for the drop in seating capacity between the early 1940s and 1950. Although the item calls the house the Rosalia, I’m sure it was the Family. A 1951 Boxoffice item about Mr. Wheeldon said that he had leased his Family Theatres in two other towns to another operator. I suspect that all six of his theaters were called the Family.

The theater might have been at 606 S. Whitman Avenue (formerly Main Street.) Virtually all of Rosalia’s business are on Whitman Avenue, and this undated photo shows a theater, identifiable by the movie posters leaning against the front, at that location. Rosalia had a movie house at least as early as 1914, listed in the American Motion Picture Directory that year as the Lyric, on Main Street. The theater in the photo might have been the Lyric, and the Rose and later theaters might have been at different locations, but it’s possible that Rosalia’s theater was always at that location, even after the 1948 fire. Even if it was in a different building, it was almost certainly located on Whitman Avenue.

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