Crystal Theatre

217 N. Tecumseh Avenue,
Wauneta, NE 69045

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Johnson & Grosbach built an opera house in 1914 in downtown Wauneta in a period in which films and vaudeville began to overshadow programming of traditional opera houses. By the time the project was completed, it was rebranded as the Crystal Theatre.

The silent movie theatre was leased to J.K. Powell of Imperial’s Lyric Theatre in 1930 who converted the venue to sound to stay viable. Next operator, Dr. Frank E. Rider, gave the theatre a major refresh in late-1936. Rider was improving the theatre’s projection and auditorium to a more modern look that was well received upon completion.

Unfortunately, on January 7, 1937, not long after the relaunch, the theatre burned down. The trade press said that some of the structural support of the Crystal Theatre was used in the rebuilding of the replacement venue, the Chateau Theater, which opened June 30, 1937.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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