Grand Theater

1224 Commercial Street,
Bellingham, WA 98225

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 20, 2022 at 7:37 pm

The Grand Theatre is listed in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory, though with the address 127 W. Holly Street. Two web sites have considerable information about the Grand: This web page from WhatcomTalk, with histories of several lost Bellingham theaters, and this page from the Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society. Each page features several photos.

The Grand was built to replace a smaller house of the same name that had opened in 1905 and was demolished in 1912 to make way for a new commercial building. The new theater was behind the new building and fronted on Commercial Street, though an entrance was retained on Holly Street. The house actually had two entrances, at 127 W. Holly and at 1224 Commercial Street. The Holly Street entrance served as the main entrance for much of the Grand’s history, but it was closed in 1957 and converted for retail use, so for the last few years of the theater’s life it was entered only from Commercial Street. The Grand’s last show, in 1973, featured the movie “Last Tango in Paris.” The building was demolished in 1974.

The Pacific Coast Architecture Database says that the Grand Theatre was designed by local architect Frederick Stanley Piper (firm name F. Stanley Piper), who also designed the Edison (Liberty/Egyptian) Theatre in 1914. Piper practiced in Bellingham from 1908 to about 1927, having immigrated from the U.K., where he had worked as a draughtsman in Plymouth. He had received an architectural degree from Blundell College, Tiverton, Devonshire, England, around 1900.

irvl on September 1, 2019 at 10:38 am

How horrifying to see all of the workmanship that created this beautiful theatre destroyed.

rivest266 on September 1, 2019 at 9:54 am

This reopened as the Our theatre on April 3rd, 1931. Grand opening ad posted.