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Since 1935, Lewiston Theatre is old-timey, family-friendly movie house

By Jillian McCarthy

LEWISTON — People from all over Cache Valley flock to the Lewiston Theatre every Friday, Saturday and Monday night. Low prices on concessions and tickets bring the crowds. The theatre is also known for its family atmosphere.

There are only a handful of small-town, city-owned theaters left, and the Lewiston Theatre is proud to be one of them.

“We are a community theatre backed by the city, and we pride ourselves on making the theatre family-oriented,” said theatre manager Rosie Williams. “Not many small-town theatres are still open, which is why we as a community like to come together and keep the theatre running. We are definitely not in it for profit.”

Movie tickets are $2, and on Monday nights, tickets are $10 per immediate family, no matter the size of the family. Concessions are all $2 or less.

Williams said the theatre likes to keep the prices low to make movie night affordable for families. A night out at most movie theaters will cost families over $40, she said, but at the Lewiston Theatre families do not even pay half that.

Another way the theatre is family-oriented are the movies that it shows. There has never been an R-rated movie played at the Lewiston Theatre, she said, and that is one rule that the theatre plans to keep. Most of the movies played are children-appropriate, she said.

The theatre is able to keep its low prices and family oriented theme through its volunteers.

“The Lewiston Theatre is such a fun place to go and work,” said Holly Hyer, president of the Theatre Board. “Our board consists of seven volunteer members, and a lot of stuff in Lewiston is done by volunteers.”

“My husband, two sons and daughter all volunteer for the Lewiston Fire Department, and we are just in it for the community,” Hyer said. “The sense of volunteering and a tight-knit Lewiston community really comes from loving where you live and wanting to keep this place a loving, small-town community.”

The Lewiston Community Theatre opened in August 1935, and only replaced its traditional 35-millimeter film projector with a digital projector in 2013.

“My mother would come to the theatre in the ’30s and ’40s and watch the black and white shows,” said Julie Bergeson, the Lewiston city office manager and clerk recorder. “The sound for the show would come from a lady playing the piano on the corner of the stage, live music for the show.”

The stage has also been used for plays and road shows. There is a wall in the theatre where performers and people have signed their names and the date. Some of the dates go all the way back to the 1930s.

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