Arrow-right Camera
News >  Spokane

The Modern Theater Spokane will close at year’s end

Angela Pierson as Velma Kelly and Quinn Vaira as Roxie Hart in “Chicago,” which played at The Modern Theater this fall. The theater is closing at the end of this year amid ongoing financial struggles. (SR)
Angela Pierson as Velma Kelly and Quinn Vaira as Roxie Hart in “Chicago,” which played at The Modern Theater this fall. The theater is closing at the end of this year amid ongoing financial struggles. (SR)

The Modern Theater Spokane – the city’s only professional theater company – announced Monday it is closing its Spokane venue at the end of the year, citing high overhead costs and declining profits.

Breaking the news on the theater’s Facebook page, the company wrote that it had decided to “consolidate resources and focus on producing outstanding theater in our The Modern Theater - CDA location.”

Originally called Interplayers Resident Professional Theatre, the beleaguered Spokane theater almost shuttered in 2014 before approaching Lake City Playhouse of Coeur d’Alene, which gained operational control and assumed roughly $92,000 in Interplayers’ debt.

The merger changed the name of the companies to the Modern Theater Spokane and the Modern Theater Coeur d’Alene. According to the Facebook post, the Coeur d’Alene location will remain open and appears to be unaffected by the Spokane venue’s closure.

Modern Theater staff and board of directors were not immediately available for comment Monday.

The theater appears to have employed at least 10 people, according to its website. Whether they will transfer to the Coeur d’Alene location or become unemployed is unknown.

Modern Theater was regarded in Spokane for being the only theater in the area that paid its actors, unlike community theaters such as the Spokane Civic Theatre and Spokane Stage Left which rely on volunteers but do have paid staff.

The theater has only one play currently in production, “All is Calm” – a World War I musical about a truce that started on Christmas in 1914 when a German soldier began singing in the middle of the battlefield.

The play’s run is set to end on Saturday, before the theater closes.


Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter

There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com

You have been successfully subscribed!


Top stories in Spokane

Then and Now: Union Station

Historian Robert Hyslop, in his book “Spokane Building Blocks,” explains why Spokane’s Union Station, shown under construction in 1913, was called a station and not a depot. There had already been a Union Depot in Spokane serving the OR&N, the Union Pacific and the Great Northern in Spokane’s earliest days. In addition, people thought the word “depot” was old-fashioned and “station” was more stylish.