Opened in Bend, Oregon, in 1940, the historic Tower Theatre has a unique connection to Paramount Pictures: Its first manager, Ken Hodkinson, was the son ofParamount’s founder W.W. Hodkinson.
Following the introduction of multiscreen movie theaters, Tower Theatre closed in 1994 and was sold to a group of owners interested in redeveloping the building as retail and office space. In 1997, a group of preservation-minded Bend residents founded the Tower Theatre Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring the building. Under the campaign “Encore! The Return of Tower Theatre,” the group raised the capital for renovations, which began in 1999 and included expanding the interior space from 10,432 square feet to 13,630 square feet, installing new box seats, expanding the lobby, and adding high-quality sound, lighting and video projection systems.
Reopening in 2004, the 460-seat Tower Theatre is enjoying its second act as a host venue for film festivals, ballets, concerts, plays and stand-up comedy, as well as fundraisers, weddings and business conferences.