Gallery Theatre

250 N. Main Street,
Pocatello, ID 83204

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The Idaho State Journal reported the Gallery Theatre opened in the spring of 1972 at 135 S. Main Street and was evicted for a lease violation and in September 1975 moved to 250 N. Main Street.

Until its final closing in 1977 the X-Rated theatre went through public protests, picketing, lawsuits and alleged Idaho obscenity law violations. During that time there were at least 123 articles in the Journal about the theatre.

The deciding trial in 1977 was really tried on a zoning issue and not obscenity, with the Gallery Theatre ultimately prevailing. This didn’t stop the lawsuits as the owners later filed a $2.5 million civil rights lawsuit.

With more than 30 years of hindsight, one of the defence attorneys in the case was interviewed by the Journal in 2009 and gave the mindset of one of the jurors he talked to. “We (the jurors) decided that we weren’t going to decide what was right or wrong for other consenting adults to see or read. It was their business. We chose to not be the morals police for the city of Pocatello.”

There were other small towns in Idaho responding to X-Rated films, in varying degrees. These cities were Caldwell, Jerome, and Eden. When “Fritz, The Cat” was shown in Sandpoint, it earned one letter to the editor. Drive-ins included the Pay-Ont Drive-In of Fruitland and the Preston Drive-In. In Idaho Falls there was controversy over “Last Tango In Paris” showing at a drive-in.

Contributed by ron pierce
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