Republic Theatre

S. Clark Avenue,
Republic, WA 99166

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Casino Theatre, Liberty Theatre, Selma Theatre

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Located in Republic, a major mining and railroad hub. The Casino Theatre was opened by 1914. Around 1932 it was renamed Liberty Theatre. By 1936 it had been renamed Republic Theatre. By 1950 it had been renamed Selma Theatre which operated until 1955. By 1956 had reverted back to the Republic Theatre name and was still open in 1957.

Contributed by john coursey

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

JackCoursey on May 14, 2022 at 9:46 am

There are about three buildings on Clark which look as if they might have initially been a theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 14, 2022 at 10:09 pm

The 200-seat Republic Theatre first appears in the 1936 FDY. In 1935 there is a 200-seat house called the Liberty Theatre, which could be the same theater under an earlier name. Republic’s theater history is pretty straightforward through 1929. The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists a house called the Casino Theatre, on Main Street (as there is no Main Street in Republic now, it was probably an earlier name for Clark Avenue.) The Casino is still listed in the 1929 FDY, with 218 seats.

It’s from 1930 through 1934 that things get a bit puzzling. Republic does not appear in the 1930 FDY, but in 1931 the Casino is listed, now with 235 seats, and it is joined by a 150-seat house called the Liberty. Neither house had been wired for sound. In 1932 the Casino is gone, and the Liberty, still with 150 seats, is listed as closed. Republic vanishes again in 1933 and 1934, reappearing only with the 200-seat Liberty in 1935, followed by the 200-seat Republic the next year.

It could be that the Liberty of 1935 and the later Republic were the same house as the Casino, and the Liberty of 1931-1932 was a short-lived rival, or it might be that the 1931-32 Liberty was expanded and reopened and became the Republic. It will probably be difficult to find out just what happened during that period.

Republic did have another theater at one time, which came to a tragic end. The November 18, 1916 issue of Moving Picture World reported that a theater called either the Princess or the Palace (the item uses both names) was destroyed by a fire on November 11, leading to the death of Mrs. B. F. Hibbard, wife of the projectionist. The item noted that this theater had previously been the Republic Opera House.

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