Concrete Theatre burns on September 14, 1916.

  • By Eric L. Flom
  • Posted 1/09/2008
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 8419
On September 14, 1916, a fire of unknown origin destroys the Concrete Theatre in Concrete, in northwestern Washington.  The house was showing three Pathé films the week of the blaze, all of which are claimed by the fire.  Each was the 5th chapter of a serial film: The Iron Claw (starring Pearl White [1889-1938]), The Red Circle (starring Ruth Roland [1892-1937]), and Neal of the Navy (Motography).

Manager C.D. Stickney reported the venue as a total loss, but the Concrete Theatre was eventually rebuilt -- only to be destroyed by fire again seven years later.  

Down, but apparently not out, Stickney again rebuilt the Concrete Theatre, but this time on a lot directly across the street from his original location.  The change in locations apparently did the trick, for Stickney’s third Concrete Theatre (opened in June 1924) has stood the test of time.   

Today, the rebuilt Concrete Theatre remains a focal point for the community of Concrete, where it continues operation at 45920 Main Street.  On June 5, 1987, this theatre was added to the Washington Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation’s list of historical sites.


Sources: “`Split Reel’ Notes for Theater Men,” Motography, October 7, 1916, p. 811; “Small Town Theater Burns,” Moving Picture World, October 14, 1916, p. 283; “Seattle,” Moving Picture World, April 26, 1924, p. 718; Beverly Critchfield, “A Welcome Return,” Skagit Valley Herald, December 22, 2005, Page D-1; Concrete Theatre website accessed November 11, 2007 (http://concretetheatre.net/).

Related Topics:   Buildings | Film

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