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Bing Crosby Theater sold to Spokane businessman Dicker

Thu., Feb. 16, 2012, 9:45 a.m.

The historic Bing Crosby Theater, a landmark downtown entertainment venue, has been purchased by Spokane businessman Gerald Dicker.

Dicker’s GVD Commercial Properties, Inc. recently bought the property at the corner of Sprague Avenue and Lincoln from Mitch Silver, who purchased the building from Metropolitan Mortgage and Securities in 2004.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Dicker owns or shares ownership in a number of local properties, including the Ruby Hotel on the corner of Lincoln and First.

In a release, Dicker said the theater will continue in its role as an entertainment facility. He said GVD will make substantial upgrades and renovations including repairing the building’s roof.

The name will remain the Bing Crosby Theater. Michael Smith, the theater manager for the past 25 years, will continue in that job, Dicker said.

Dicker said he intends, with help from Gonzaga University and local citizen groups, to expand its role as a central spot to display photos and memorabilia of Bing Crosby’s career.

Crosby, before he became a household name, performed at the original theater while still living in Spokane.

Two years ago, Dicker purchased a rare collection of 5,000 Bing Crosby photos and made them available to the theater. Some of those photos have been regularly displayed in the theater.

The theater, originally called the Clemmer when built in 1915, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It later was known as the State Theater, and then as the Met.

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