North Bend Theatre: Home of ‘1,000 stories’

North Bend Theatre: Home of ‘1,000 stories’

NORTH BEND — Spouse and partner Beth and Kevin Burrows are story keepers for the local community of North Bend. Which is aspect of the career description for proudly owning a 1941 artwork moderne landmark.

“There’s a well known saying in historic theaters that you might be a a single-story building, but we’re crammed with 1,000 stories,” reported Beth Burrows, co-owner of the North Bend Theatre, whose blue and purple neon indicator at 125 Bendigo Blvd. N. stands as a beacon in the historic downtown district.

Considering the fact that April 9, 1941, the movie theater — which was originally owned by supervisor Jay Tew and price $12,000 to develop with 400 seats — has been a centerpiece in North Bend. The 4,000-square-foot, at the moment 265-seat neighborhood area has hosted movie festivals, reside concert events, free of charge summer youngsters matinees, online video gaming tournaments, birthday parties, reside comedy displays, informal theater excursions and once-a-year screenings of “The Rocky Horror Photo Clearly show,” full with a are living all-volunteer shadow solid.

It’s been an air-conditioned haven to escape sizzling summers. It is where by Mount Si High Faculty learners and independent filmmakers — like “Hunting Bigfoot’s” author/director Taylor Guterson — initial noticed their functions on the big display. It’s exactly where comic Andrew Rivers, who graduated from Mount Si Superior Faculty, state-of-the-art in the 2019 Seattle International Comedy Competitors.

“Twin Peaks” will always be section of the theater’s heritage and long run, reported Kevin. The North Bend Theatre was house to the nation’s premiere of David Lynch’s 1992 film, “Twin Peaks: Hearth Walk with Me.” A replica of the “Welcome to Twin Peaks: Inhabitants 51,201” indication still sits backstage along with extra than 2,000 motion picture posters, a collection of movie reels, diamond-encrusted fireplace prevention curtains and the theater’s primary film projectors.

“It’s like very little touches of fame that this developing has been a section of,” reported Beth.

Under its seventh relatives ownership, the North Bend Theatre has survived every little thing from Environment War II to a pandemic, performing as an anchor during additional than 8 many years of change.

“It’s been in this article a long time and a long time and there are a extremely handful of art house theaters left in smaller cities in the United States any more at all and I truly feel like it’s a piece of record,” reported Guterson, a resident of North Bend for the past ten years.

Guterson, who described himself as a “nobody in the context of moviemaking,” mentioned he was fortunate to have Beth, her theater and the community’s assistance throughout the sold-out Aug. 6, 2021, premiere of his mockumentary, which was filmed in North Bend. Mayor Rob McFarland proclaimed that working day “Hunting Bigfoot Day.” The theater still has the proclamation framed within a room with a dry-erase learn calendar of jogging motion pictures and situations.

“She was supporting me, not a well regarded filmmaker by any stretch of your creativity, and my challenge and offering us a system for people to occur and see a film, around participating in a Hollywood film, so genuinely that is vital,” he said.

But as significantly as the tiny, unbiased theater supported innumerable men and women in the neighborhood over the years, the theater wouldn’t have survived with out community aid.  

“The local community of North Bend just loves the arts and I think which is fundamentally why it is however there,” stated Guterson.

Proprietors Helen and Harry Trostel, a instructor and a forester who acquired the North Bend Theatre in January 1970, operated it for almost 30 several years, trying to keep it jogging all through the introduction of the VHS tape and the world-wide-web.

In 1999, the theater’s next homeowners, Brian, who worked at Microsoft and handed away in 2003, and Karlene Slover, modernized and restored the theater to its primary artwork moderne designs — paying out three months and $250,000 in extensive restoration. They received King County’s Spellman Award for rehabilitation.

When Hollywood created the switch from 35mm movie to electronic formats in 2012, the theater was in threat of closing. It needed $100,000 to purchase a new electronic movie projector. Then-homeowners Cindy, who also owned the Emerald City Smoothie North Bend franchise, and Jim Walker surpassed that purpose, elevating $107,375 by way of a 2013 GoFundMe campaign. The new projector was put in in September 2013.

Then the Walker family, who’ve owned the theater since 2006, set the developing up for sale.

Out of a “labor of love,” the Burrowses — who moved to North Bend in 1989 and lifted their relatives there — acquired the theater in 2018 for $800,000.

Kevin, whose present-day position as a application developer at Microsoft can help retain the theater afloat, wished future North Bend youngsters to knowledge the very same items his young ones had. Beth desired to preserve the theater and to avoid it from becoming a bar or a retail retailer.

“We are the story keeper of our group mainly because we’ve been here so extended,” mentioned Beth. “People occur in and say, ‘Oh, I remember coming in when I was 8 several years outdated and I saw my 1st motion picture. My girlfriend and I loved coming here. My parents would sit in the back keeping hands.’ You get so lots of tales and it is so enjoyment when elderly people occur in and they have a ton of record right here.”

In a expanding mountain city amid a sea of modify, North Bend even now has only one movie theater. The Burrows family vowed to preserve it from going away so that the theater could stay a concrete neighborhood house for generations to appear.

States Beth: “I consider that’s important for men and women to know: That is my hometown theater. It’s often likely to be there for me.”