KNPR

Huntridge Theater Exhibit Showcases Its History With Stories, Memorabilia

huntridge_resize.jpg

Melissa Clary

If you’re old enough and you’ve been here long enough, you probably have a Huntridge story.

Former Sen. Richard Bryan says he panhandled money to buy a ticket on opening night in 1944, and Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin says he had his first kiss there. You might have caught a concert there at some point.

Though it closed in 2004, there’s no shortage of love for the Art Deco theater on Maryland Parkway and Charleston Bouelvard, and likewise there’s been no shortage of efforts to save it, though none have been successful so far.

The Huntridge Foundation, a nonprofit that hopes to restore the property, is celebrating its history with an exhibition called “Huntridge through the Decades: A Close-up of the Iconic People’s Theater" at Nevada State Museum.

"It had closed and opened several times," said Dan Roberts, president of the Huntridge Foundation. "It had gone through several different owners and a couple different life spans."

Roberts said it was originally a first-run movie theater and even hosted a few world premieres. Later it became a place to see live music and plays. It also hosted events and swap meets.

"All kinds of functions have occurred there over the decades," said Melissa Clary, the secretary-treasurer the Huntridge Foundation. "It's really a unique venue."

Support comes from

The Huntridge Foundation does not own the theater. And efforts to restore it have so far not fully come together. 

"Maybe sharing new information about the theater that some folks may not have known previously so that others can maybe recognize what we already recognize, which is how incredibly important and valuable this piece of property is," Roberts said. 

Roberts admits it will take money and effort to restore the theater, but he said it is structurally sound.

"It is going to need a lot of work, and it is work that's worth putting into it," he said. 

"We definitely look at it as a multi-programmable space," Clary said. "Hopefully it's a market driven, community encompassing effort and it's not just a single developer who comes in does what they want and washes the slate clean." 

The show opens runs through Aug. 31 at Nevada State Museum. It highlights the building’s history, with memorabilia and stories from notable locals.

Guests

Dan Roberts, president, The Huntridge Foundation; Melissa Clary, president, The Huntridge Foundation

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.

More Stories

Huntridge Theater
KNPR
KNPR's State of Nevada
DC Blog
Friday Photo