Betz Building

Also known as: Gem Theater , Star Saloon
239 W Main Street, Athena OR

Masonry building with metal facade built in 1901

Photos 

Betz Building

Photo taken by Richard Doody in December 2009

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Description 

The structure was built by the Jacob Betz Brewing and Malting Company of Walla Walla, Washington as a saloon and restaurant. Athena passed a local option law in 1908 closing all saloons and the west compartment of the Betz Building was converted into a movie house in 1909. It closed for the first time in January,9 1930.The theater was purchased by Lloyd and Edith Moore of Hermiston in 1937. After adding a balcony, a new projection room and new seating on the main floor, the Modern Gem Theater was opened in 1938.It continued to operate until 1968.

Update Log 

  • May 11, 2018: Added by Richard Doody

Sources 

  • Richard Doody