300 N. First Avenue,
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Panida Theater (Official)
Architects: Edward A. Miller
Functions: Concerts, Live Performances, Live Theater, Movies (Independent)
Styles: Mission Revival
News About This Theater
- Jan 4, 2005 — Panida Theater Profiled By Bonner County Daily Bee
- Nov 16, 2004 — "Cinema Treasures" in Newsweek and Budget Travel
The Panida, opened in 1927, derives its name from “the PANhandle of IDAho”. Except for early vaudeville, it showed movies until the mid-1980s when it fell into a state of disrepair.
In 1985, through fund raising and citizen involvement, it began its trip back from the brink.
Today, its program lists a combination of art movies, pop and classical concerts, and live theater. The Friends of the Panida, in this community of 6,000 and county of 32,000, provide for the operation of the theater.
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Recent comments (view all 6 comments)
I’m the head projectionist at the Panida Theater. In the Cinema Treasures book it is mentioned that people here believe that there is a ghost at the Panida. Unfortunately that was only the opinion of one of the people being interviewed for the book. In my seven years working at the Panida I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning a ghost. I’ve worked there late at night countless times, and said spectre has never so much as sneezed. Aside from that detail, the review of our theater in the book is excellent. It’s a beautiful book that is a lot of fun to browse through.
I recall the “magic” of the local theater house. My experience was in my birh place, Sandpoint, Id. Our one and only movie and theater house was the Panida Theater. I vividly recall Floyd Grey used the theater to have “Farmer Grey” skits before or during intermission of movies. Mr Grey at the time was Mayor of Sandpoint. I recall one time Mr Grey allowed the younger folk to view a movie from “behind” the movie screen. We kids “loved” the special treatment. I believe it was during a time when Mayor Grey was sponsoring a proposal for economic development of Sandpoint… introducing a new “ski resort” for the area. Needless to say, today the Schweitzer Ski Resort became a “huge” economic development success that changed Sandpoint forever. I believe Mr Grey and his Panida Theater had a profound impact in that success story. I recall in the early 60s, I worked in the Panida Theater. Joe Breeden was manager at the time. I helped to clean the theater and also stoked and kept a watchful eye on the coal burning furnace. One winter, the snow was wet and very heavy. The ceiling developed a leak and a big section of ceiling fell during a movie. Thankfully no one was sitting in the area where it fell. Floyd Grey was an amazing individual. He certainly made a mark in my heart on several occasions. I fondly remember looking forward to going to the movies to see and holding hands with my then grade school sweetheart. The â€œmagicalâ€ moments that building holds in my heart. (smiling) Mr Grey owned and operated the â€œdrive-inâ€ theater north of town which also holds many wonderful memories.
Here is another view:
A 1991 NRHP documentation form concerning theaters in Idaho attributes the design of the Panida Theatre to Portland architect Edward A. Miller. Other sources indicate that Miller also designed the Egyptian Theatre in Seattle, the Egyptian Theatre in Portland, and (probably) the Venetian Theatre in Portland.
If having to choose between Lake Tahoe and Sandpoint for best place for a weekend getaway, it would be Sandpoint hands down. Sandpoint is absolutely beautiful, non-pretentious and genuine. The Panida is the jewel of this little hamlet and the product of a considerable amount of effort and love by the community to keep it up to stuff and operational. Well worth the trip and your financial support.