Alki Theatre

E. Main Street,
Wilbur, WA 99189

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JackCoursey on August 14, 2022 at 8:38 am

The actual address is East Main Street, Wilbur, WA 99189. Although most of the exterior remains intact, the interior has been completely gutted to accommodate at least two businesses and a post office.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 15, 2017 at 9:15 am

Looking at the street view I just noticed that the back of the former theater is now occupied by a U.S. Post Office, with its entrance on the Broadway Street side.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm

Forgot to mention the item in Boxoffice of May 1, 1954, saying that owner E. C. Rettkowski had remodeled the Alki Theatre, installing CinemaScope and stereophonic sound equipment. The opening feature was The Robe.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 14, 2017 at 8:55 pm

The Alki Theatre building still stands, with its small marquee intact, at the southeast corner of Main Avenue and Broadway Street (16 NW Main Avenue.) The building is now occupied by the Magic Mirror Beauty Salon.

A closed brick arch on the facade, which might indicate that an arch was an original feature the building, has a keystone with the year 1920 on it. If the building was erected as a theater in 1920, rather than converted to one later, then we are surely missing an earlier aka for the house. The name Roxy did not come into vogue until after the opening of the first Roxy Theatre in New York in 1926.

It’s possible that the house was called the Liberty, whether opened in 1920 or not, as the earliest trade journal item I’ve found datelined Wilbur is this, from the January 16, 1931, issue of The Film Daily: “Wilbur, Wash. — Peter Falborg has temporarily closed the Liberty.” The reopening of the Liberty was noted in the May 24 issue of the Daily.

The Alki Theatre was still in operation at least as late as 1963, when it was advertised in the August 8 issue of The News-Standard published in nearby Coulee City.