The plan is to bring the old building back to life and guide The Lincoln as it begins its new journey, to move with the times, and make the transition into a versatile, intimate venue for film, live music, theatrical performances and inspiring programs which will entertain, inspire, enrich and educate the local and extended community, while preserving The Lincoln as a key historic landmark for generations to come.
The theater is currently a raw canvas, ready for the next stage. Funding is needed to upgrade and remodel the interior.
Sponsors and benefactors are sought to get the old theater back on its feet and once again a vibrant community venue.
"The Lincoln is a place of wonder, magic and escape", and "its demise leaves a hole in the community and in everyone's hearts"The Peninsula Daily News c.2014
The theater temporarily re-opened as "Lincoln in the Rough" and hosted its first theatrical performance, "Snow White and the Five Housemates"
This was a collaborative effort put forth by many folks in the Port Angeles community. It was a sell-out! This gave a glimpse of the future possibilities...
Port Angeles was buzzing!
The building was purchased, and the process of renovations began. Over the course of two years, the roof was repaired, the old three screen interior was removed, the original seating was taken out and stored.
Engineering was completed for electrical and HVAC, interior structural drawings produced, and renderings completed for the facade and the interior.
The goal is to save, and preserve history. There is original lathe and plaster, original stenciling, and original fabric. These will be seen in the Lincoln for future generations to marvel at and enjoy.
The Lincoln Theater has generated many fond memories for Port Angeles and Olympic Peninsula residents alike. Originally built as a single screen playhouse, The Lincoln has seen much change during its lifetime. Its most recent use was as a three-screen movie theater.
But, with the building of a large cinema complex on the outskirts of Port Angeles, and the prohibitive cost of upgrading to digital, this was no longer a viable option, and in 2014 the theater closed.
On its opening night, the theater looked beautiful, and was filled with flowers. According to newspapers at the time, “over the pretty bay window is placed a life-size bust of Lincoln in bronze, which for the evening, was draped in flags”. The pipe organ was played, “Somewhere a Voice is Calling”, and "To a Wild Rose" .
"America's sweetheart Mary Pickford graced the screen for the Lincoln Theater's opening in The Foundling. Spell of the Yukon was on the next bill. The newspaper article concluded, “Port Angeles will look forward to much enjoyment out of the new playhouse”.
G.M. Lauridsen built the Lincoln Theater for Ed Halberg in 1916. The building was then under a long lease to the Halberg brothers by the G.M. Lauridsen Foundation.
"Edwin and Evan Halberg, company managers of Port Angeles Theaters, Inc. opened the Lincoln Theater for its first nights performance on September 4, 1916. The Lincoln was said to be the finest and most artistic small town theater on the Pacific Coast complete with its five-thousand-dollar Kimball Symphony Orchestra Pipe Organ. They had costumes for the attendants of the theater. An excerpt from a 1916 newspaper review follows: "Everything about the Lincoln tends to make one sit back in his seat in a contented mood..."
Built in 1916, the Lincoln Theater has already celebrated its 100th year anniversary!