Ruby Theater (Chelan, Washington)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ruby Theater
Chelan, WA - Ruby Theatre 01.jpg
Ruby Theater (Chelan, Washington) is located in Washington (state)
Ruby Theater (Chelan, Washington)
Location135 East Woodin Avenue, Chelan, Washington
Coordinates47°50′25″N 120°01′03″W / 47.8402°N 120.01746°W / 47.8402; -120.01746Coordinates: 47°50′25″N 120°01′03″W / 47.8402°N 120.01746°W / 47.8402; -120.01746
Arealess than one acre
Built byHerbert R. Kingman
Architectural styleLate 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Other, Renaissance Revival
MPSMovie Theaters in Washington State MPS
NRHP reference #91001495[1]
Added to NRHPOctober 7, 1991

The Ruby Theater is a small movie theater located at 135 East Woodin Avenue in Chelan, Washington. Built in 1914, it was named after Ruby Potter, the daughter of its manager, Frank Potter. The original owners were Herbert R. Kingman and Morrison M. Kingman. Original seating capacity was 225 on the main level and 125 in the balcony. The theater was equipped as a cinema and as a vaudeville house. With the exception of 1972-1974, the Ruby has been showing movies for over ninety years, and is one of the oldest movie theaters in Washington.[2]


Harry Potter moved his operation from the storefront Gem Theater to the Kingman's new Ruby when the Kingman's purpose-built theater opened. Competition initially came from the Auditorium, which burned shortly after the Ruby opened in 1914. Potter and his wife were killed in 1918. The next year the Kingmans sold the theater to a barber named Kelsey from Omak. The Kelseys operated the theater themselves until 1937, then leased it to operators through 1972. The theater reopened in 1974.[3]


The Ruby theater is located in the central business district of Chelan. The facade is stuccoed, with a central snack bar window flanked by recessed arched entries. The entries are sheltered by a prominent projecting marquee guyed from the facade, lit with bare electric light bulbs. The marquee spans the width of the building, with a shallow central arch. The upper level of the facade features a pair of windows flanked by single sash windows in a slightly recessed bay, with a prominent RUBY THEATRE above. The original entrance was in the center. The lobby spans the width of the building with entries into the house on either side of the shallow space. The house is a narrow rectangular space with a small horseshoe-shaped balcony over the last few rows of seats. The twelve-foot-deep stage is elevated and features a gilded plaster proscenium. Additional depth is provided by a non-historic thrust stage extension, about 12 feet (3.7 m) deep. The stage retains its trap doors and lighting, as well as storerooms and ventilation equipment under the stage. The projection room is on the upper level behind the balcony, as are the toilets.[3]

The Ruby Theater was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 7, 1991.[1]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "Ruby Theatre History". Ruby Theatre. 2008-10-31.
  3. ^ a b Austin, Kay (May 1991). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Ruby Theater" (PDF). National Park Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2011.

External links[edit]