Bing Crosby Theater

901 W. Sprague Avenue,
Spokane, WA 99204

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Bing Crosby Theater (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Evergreen State Amusement Corp., Fox Theatres (Reading, PA), National General Theatres, Universal Chain Theatrical Enterprises Inc.

Architects: Edwin Walker Houghton

Functions: Live Performances, Movies (Classic), Movies (Independent)

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Clemmer Theatre, Audion Theatre, State Theatre, Metropolitan Performing Arts Center

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 509.227.7638

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News About This Theater

Bing Crosby Theater

Opened February 22, 1915 as a movie theatre called the Clemmer Theatre. The opening movie was Mary Pickford in “Mistress Nell”. Designed in a restrained Neo-Classical style by noted theater architect Edwin W. Houghton, the Clemmer Theatre originally sat 800 patrons and boasted a 4 manual, 32 rank Kimball organ which was opened by organist W.H. Donley, one of the most impressive instruments in the city. Among the Clemmer’s first musicians to helm the organ was Jessie Crawford, eventually recognized as one of the great silent film organists of all time. By 1929 the Clemmer Theatre was operated by the Universal Pictures chain.

In 1988, the movie house underwent a substantial restoration and the building eventually became known as the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center, or “Met”, for short. In 2006, the theatre was renamed Bing Crosby Theater.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

kateymac01 on May 5, 2005 at 12:04 pm

From the Met’s Web site:

Built in 1915 by local developer August Paulsen, the Old Clemmer Theater was considered state-of-the-art in its day, seating nearly 800 patrons. The theater represents a turning point in mass entertainment, when vaudeville was relinquishing top billing to silent films and the era of lavishly embellished movie palaces was about to begin. Designed by noted theater architect Edwin W. Houghton, The Clemmer embodied the restrained Neoclassicism of these traditional movie houses. It would come to be known as The State Theater in later years. Inland Northwest residents lined the streets in anticipation to see “Casablanca,” “The Godfather,” “Gone With the Wind” and thousands of other first-run movies.

William on May 4, 2006 at 2:55 pm

When this theatre was known as the State Theatre it was operated by Evergreen State Amusement Corp., which was part of the Fox Theatres chain and later known as National Theatres then National General Theatres.

Patsy on December 10, 2006 at 1:09 pm

This a.m. on CBS Sunday Morning they did a segment on what will be called the Bing Crosby Theatre which is now the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center. The following article gives details of the plans for the name change. View link

spokanetomcat on May 5, 2007 at 6:46 pm

Here is a history web site for this theater. Comes with pictures too.
View link.jpg&imgrefurl=

kencmcintyre on January 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, January 1960:

Bud Schmidt of the State at Spokane, Wash. used the “girls only” gimmick to get a running start with “Yellowstone Kelly”. Billing it as the “Kookie Matinee”, Schmidt had 350 avid fans of Edd “Kookie” Byrnes waiting at the box office when it opened at 10 a.m. The promotion was carried out with the city’s top-rated teenage radio station.

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 8:47 am

A 2012 photo can be seen here and here.

Croonsome1 on August 3, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Pretty crazy, Bing actually dated my great grandmother Florida who was also a singer and a dancer at the met theater. He had his ACTUAL first born son in this relationship. My grandfather who ended up with the last name Scott instead of Crosby because he had left.

eriksmith on September 6, 2015 at 7:37 am

This is pretty crazy, all right. Bing went on a date with my grandmother, too! Turned out to be a fizzle. Years later, right about her 100th birthday, they named the theater for the guy. My grandmother always insisted on calling it the Clemmer.

Trolleyguy on July 15, 2016 at 8:26 am

Updated website link.

Functions should also include: Movies (classic and independent)

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