The Vogue Theatre at 210 Pennsylvania Avenue in Cle Elum, Washington is on its way to a new life.
*1909 – The Rose Theatre is built by James Lane; admission is ten cents to enjoy vaudeville performances and silent movies.
*1918 – The Rose Theatre comes to a fiery end after a blaze erupts in debris near the building, causing the famous fire that destroyed most of Cle Elum.
*1923 – The Lane Theatre is built on the same location. Constructed of brick, with a seating capacity of 780, it is heralded as the last word in comfort, convenience, and safety.
*1929 – Talking pictures, or “Vibraphone” and “Movie Tone,” are installed at a cost of $10,000. Cle Elum’s first 100% talking picture debut is “Wolf of Wall Street.”
*1938 – The Lane is purchased and lavishly remodeled by Harry Ulsh, becoming the first theater in the Northwest to feature fluorescent and neon lighting. The theater’s name is changed to “Vogue,” reflecting its ultra-modern features.
*1947 – Fred Estelman purchases the Vogue and installs the latest in sound equipment.
*1954 – “Cinemascope” is installed, adding depth and width to the films.
*Late 60s to mid-70s – Coal mines close, population declines, economy plummets. The Vogue closes and essentially sits empty for the better part of thirty years.
*2007 – Larry and Rosemary Putnam purchase the Vogue and begin the process of putting together a new 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to renovating the grand old theatre.
*2008 – Board of directors in place, non-profit status obtained, the Vogue Theatre Associates (VTA) are now getting the paperwork in order to transfer ownership of the building from the Putnams to the VTA. Ward Design Group of Seattle is working on the renovation designs with art deco elements and state-of-the-art equipment.
The Vogue Theatre will serve the Upper Kittitas Valley and the Central Washington region and provide myriad opportunities for community members, both young and old, to enjoy and to learn from theatre and the performing arts.