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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Dr. H.S. Clemmer took out a 10-year lease on a new theater being built by August Paulsen on the southwest corner of Sprague Avenue and Lincoln Street.

Clemmer said he planned to operate it as a “high-grade motion picture theater” and that it would be “one of the finest west of the Mississippi River.

The Clemmers were “the pioneer motion picture men of the city.” John H. Clemmer opened the Casino Theater seven years previously, and three years later opened the Clem Theater. When he died, his son, Dr. H.S. Clemmer, gave up his dental practice and took over operation of those two theaters, which remained Spokane’s top motion picture houses.

Another Clemmer Theater on Second Avenue in Seattle was being managed by another son.

No date had been fixed yet for the opening of Spokane’s new Clemmer Theater, but “work was progressing favorably.”

“E.W. Houghton is the architect,” said a front page story in The Spokesman-Review. “Fred Phair, contractor, has a large crew of men at work.”

The theater would open in February 1915 and be known by a succession of names, including the Clemmer, the Audion, the State and the Met.

Today, it is the Bing Crosby Theater.


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