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As It Was: Lakeview Reopens Art-Deco Theater built in 1940

During the golden age of Hollywood, moving picture theaters were the social center of small towns.  In 1940, Merle Alger helped construct an art-deco theater in Lakeview, Ore.

For people who grew up in Lakeview, the Alger Theater provided memories of favorite movies, first dates or family outings.  Entering the Alger from under a 1950s-style neon marquee, movie-goers encountered brass fixtures of the 1940s, an antique popcorn machine, a classic box office, and a balcony. The projection room contained vintage 1930s film equipment.  The theater offered enough variety to appeal to nearly everyone.

By 2014, due to the cost of modern projection equipment, the longtime owners, the Sample family, put the theater up for sale and it closed. 

Three after the closing, some residents formed the Lakeview Community Partnership that ran fundraising campaigns to revitalize the downtown area.  A private donor bought the theater for $170,000 and leased the building to the Partnership for $1 until it raised enough money to buy it.

Today, the Lakeview community owns the theater, which once again plays an important role in Lakeview’s social and entertainment life.

Sources: Liedtke, Kurt. "Historic lakeview theater lives again; anonymous donor saves landmark." Herald and News, 12 Apr. 2018 [Klamath Falls, Ore.], local news ed., www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/historic-lakeview-theater-lives-again-anonymous-donor-saves-landmark/article_509e3c7c-6f5c-52fe-9993-68ff6c847285.html. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020; Shaw, S. G. "Alger Theater belongs to Lakeview." Lake County Examiner, 8 May 2019 [Lakeview, Ore.] , www.lakecountyexam.com › lifestyles . Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.