200 East Main Street,
Lava Hot Springs,
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The Lava Hot Springs Historical Society says that the Resort Theatre opened on July 4, 1919. It shared space with the White Stone Hotel, which at one time was considered to have one of the most luxurious accommodations in Southern Idaho. Its 18-inch thick walls were built with native stone by Italian stone masons, the Maroni brothers.
The Society’s museum has a display of photographs and old news clippings, which tell the theater’s history.
Although it had many owners, the longest were Mr. and Mrs. John Ramsey who operated it from 1931 until the late-1960s.
In 1973 the building was purchased for $13,000 in back taxes.
In 1980 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
By 1996 the building had fallen into such a state of disrepair that the roof and two floors of the hotel collapsed.
In June of 1997 the owner donated the land and building to the Shoshone-Bannock Indian tribe at the Fort Hall reservation.
The building was demolished in 1997 because there was no hope for restoration. There has been talk of the tribe building a casino on the land, which they still own and as one local put it: The land has finally been returned to its original owners- the Indians.
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