The theatre building in Adams was built in 1946. It was not the first theatre in town, but it was the most modern. Before Everett Erickson and Shirley Johnson opened their theatre, movies were shown in the upstairs level of the "opera house" in the old McBride building at what is now Main Street Plaza just to the north. The following excerpt from the Adams Community Theatre flyer tells more about the early days of the theatre:
“Built in 1946, the Adams Theatre has been a part of this community [since that time]. W.W.II had just ended and there was a coal shortage for electricity, so special permission was needed to light the sign on opening night. The opening was made extra special with a representative from the Motion Picture Distributors of America presenting an opening address and acting as master of ceremonies for the occasion.
Throughout the years, the Adams Theatre has hosted numerous stage performances and shown countless movies on the big screens. Memory of the Christmas Program still brings a smile to the face of any "child” who had the opportunity to attend and get their bag of goodies from Santa."
The projectionist in the early days of the theater, Al Davidson, eventually bought the theater and ran the business. With the advent of movies on video tape and then DVD, the rear rows of seats in the theatre were removed, walls were built for the video section, and video rentals became a big part of the business. Eventually, Mr. Davidson sold the theatre and business to Rosemary and Jesse Pittsley. They kept it going in much the same fashion until March of 2011 when the last commercial first-run movie was shown.
At that time, a group of local citizens acted to preserve the theatre with fundraising to purchase and renovate the theatre. The Adams Community Theatre LTD organization, created and run by volunteers, states: “Our vision is to entertain, educate, and excite the community with quality programming in an historic nostalgic environment for generations to come.” Their dream became a reality in early 2012 when the deed was transferred to the nonprofit group. You can read more about this history in an excerpt from one of their playbills that is copied to the gallery here.
The theatre building is the headquarters of the July 4-7, 2012, Adams/Railroad Centennial, with A.C.T. members and other volunteers staffing the location for memorabilia sales and information. They are also showing two movies and putting on one live production in the theatre for the centennial. The people of the Adams area are fortunate that A.C.T. has acted to preserve this building and its history, and we are looking forward to more history and memories being made here as the group continues to raise funds for future renovations and performances to share with us in this marvelous facility.
Note of interest: The price of a movie ticket here when the theatre opened in 1947 was 37 cents. When it closed in 2011, the price of a movie ticket was $6.00.
Permission to place this cache was given by Carla Byrnes of A.C.T., Ltd.