Pix Foundation still working to restore Pix Theatre to glory days
Folks in the Treasure Valley are getting ready to take a trip back in time -- back to a time when the Pix Theatre was open and fully operational. The Pix Foundation's 6th Annual Gala is one of their biggest opportunities to collect donations to help Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
If it were your first drive down 12th Avenue South in Nampa, you would probably be able to tell the Pix Theatre is old, and you might guess it has a lot of history.
"It just gives us goosebumps hearing the stories," Pix Foundation board member Darrell Humphrey said.
But you'll also see it's in disrepair. If you take a step inside the front door, you can tell it's even worse than you might have thought.
Rewind 66 years.
It's 1946, and the brand-new Pix Theatre is debuting its first film -- "Tonight and Every Night," starring Rita Hayworth.
"People are talking about how they remember their very first date, or the movie, whatever it was. And this was from years and years ago," Humphrey said.
Maybe it's not such a coincidence that film centers around a theater whose actors and patrons don't want the show to stop, even though the German blitz had rocked the world.
Fast forward back to 2012.
"I see unlimited opportunities for the future. Not just in downtown Nampa, but the entire Boise valley," Humphrey said. He shares an optimistic view, even though the Pix Theatre stopped showing movies in 1999 and currently has little more than a dirt floor. The Pix Foundation purchased the historic building in 2002, but a freak storm destroyed the roof and the interior the next year. Slow but steady renovations have been moving forward ever since.
"A lot of work has been done on the interior, which people have not been able to see, so they don't really know how far we've come," Pix Foundation Board President Debra Lindner said.
At the start of the great recession the Pix Foundation naturally took a back seat to other non-profits that provide food, shelter and clothes. But now things are starting to roll again.
"We're taking one step at a time, and just making what progress that we can, but we have faith the community wants the Pix here, and that they will continue to help us in that effort," Lindner said.
With a hired architect, the Pix is partnering with the Nampa Development Corporation, hoping that donations and grants will eventually total $1.5 million. With that money, Nampa may well welcome back a multi-venue theatre in the heart of downtown.
"The show must go on, and in this case, the theatre must go on because there's just too much future that it holds," Humphrey said
That's a stance that would make Rita Hayworth, and anyone who played a role in that hopeful '40s film, proud.
The 6th Annual Pix Gala is Saturday October 27 at 7 pm. tt will be held at the Friends Community Event Center in Star. Appropriately, the theme is "Back to the Future." Costumes from the '80s, '50s, 1885, or 'the future' are welcome and encouraged.
The gala is the foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year. Tickets are $25.
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