November 22, 2023
Thanksgiving provides an opportunity to gather and remember those who came before and give thanks for everything they provide and provided. As the Lincoln Theatre approaches 100 years, and the Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation that cares for the theatre approaches 40 years of service, there are many in our community to thank for where the theatre stands today. It is always great to start with origin stories…
Elden Decatur Pollock cared for the theatre for 40 years. If you are among those who saw Star Wars, or films through the early 80s at the Lincoln, Elden was the owner and theatre manager bringing a constant string of films into Downtown Mount Vernon. He loved Mount Vernon, building his home on the hill with a view of Downtown and the Lincoln Theatre tower. We all thank Elden for keeping the theatre in operation through hard times as the Riverside and then Cascade Mall drove people out of downtown. Elden sold the theatre in the early 80s to Gretchen and John Pickett, who rented the theatre to the Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation beginning in 1986 and sold the theatre to the City of Mount Vernon in 2001. At a time when many theatres like the Lincoln were razed in downtowns across the country, the Pollocks and the Pickett’s saved the theatre and are to be thanked.
The Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation’s original Board of Directors agreed to not only rent the theatre from the Pickett’s but also to restore and preserve their property. Restoration closed the theatre for the first time in 1987 to February 1988. The Board celebrated the reopening with the Beaux Arts Ball, a black and white dressy gala featuring live entertainment, dancing, old movies, a costume contest, food and drink with front door limousine service and shuttle for patrons who parked on the revetment, coming to the theatre in style.
The numerous volunteers who gave their time to preserve the theatre in 1988 deserve individual thanks. The original Board of Directors who pushed for preservation were comprised of Margaret K. Pederson (President), Rick Epting (VP), Kris Molesworth (Secretary / Treasurer), Ann Alfstad, Art Brown, Keith Eide, Ken Morgan and special Advisor who became the Technical Director of the theatre, Bob Martin. Later that year Lucy McLaughlin (Treasurer), Kathleen Wadland, Jim Ross and Mary Miles would join the Board. Funds were scarce but the Board moved forward, organizing and amending by-laws and recruiting members and volunteers to help run the theatre. We stand on the shoulders of giants… thank you.
In 1990, just three years after forming the not-for-profit foundation, the Board had enough in the bank to hire the theatre’s first Executive Director, Peter Heffelfinger. Peter brought professionalism, measurable and clear goals, and a recognizable face to the Lincoln Theatre. Peter also hired the Executive Director I replaced, Roger Gietzen. As Sebastian states in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night,
I can no other answer make but thanks,
And thanks; and ever thanks; and oft good turns
Are shuffled off with such uncurrent pay.
Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation volunteers, Board Members and staff have thirty-six years of “good turns,” bringing the Lincoln to life “with such uncurrent pay.” Those who have given time to the Lincoln do so for many reasons united under one common purpose. If you have volunteered for the Lincoln Theatre, served on the Board (also volunteers) or served on the staff at any point in the history of the theatre – perhaps as an usherette during Elden D. Pollock’s ownership, or as a projectionist or Wurlitzer organist…. We at the Lincoln Theatre are thankful for you!
November 15, 2023
One of the outcomes of the "Keep Cool Campaign" will be temperature control – a well-regulated temperature throughout the theatre – both upstairs and in the greenroom below the audience seating. While heating and cooling will be enjoyed by everyone inside the Lincoln with a modern HVAC system, another positive outcome of the newly designed system will be the elimination of large duct work in the center of the greenroom. Opening the center of the greenroom will provide space for new dressing rooms and provide head height for everyone over six foot tall. We are in a very exciting time as we endeavor to raise funds for the upgraded system and an open greenroom. For actors who have placed their "John Hancock" on the ducts – do not fear – a plan will be in place for their preservation.
Recently the color of the room was called into question. Why do we call the actor’s space offstage the "greenroom"? The Lincoln’s main offstage gathering space is not green and has a red carpet. In fact, the Lincoln Theatre has several rooms where actors and musicians get ready for their performance with one green (and yellow) and olive green.
The term greenroom has more origin stories than Batman, and date back to 16th century England. Elizabethan actors would use the "tyring house" or the "tyring room" to dress or change attire (thus the name). Shakespeare brings up the offstage space in Act 3, sc. 1 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as the mechanicals gather to rehearse a play of Pyramus and Thisbe.
Bottom: Are we all met?
Quince: Pat, pat. And here's a marvelous convenient place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn brake our tiring-house, and we will do it in action as we will do it before the Duke.
Rather than the black velvet curtains seen in theatre today, the 16th and into the 17th century theatre would use Baize, a course felt-like fabric dyed red or green. Green Baize curtains were the standard and often used, as Peter Quince states in the scene above, to cover the stage and represent “this green plot,” covering rough wood of the stage deck or course plaster walls. On the walls of the green room the Baize would muffle voices and help keep plaster dust off costumes.
Another greenroom origin story centers on the actor's makeup. 16th and 17th c. makeup was applied wet and had a green hue to it before drying to a very pale skin tone. Once applied the actors would wait for their makeup to dry in the green room. Perhaps the closest we get to this explanation today is Karen Pollack’s green hue as the Wicked Witch in TAG’s production of in The Wizard of Oz this month… a brilliant makeup and performance!
...But the room’s name may also be derived from a term for the stage itself, which Shakespeare may poetically be referencing in the cutting above. In the 16th century the platform the actors worked on was called a “greengage,” which is attributed to Cockney slang for the stage. The room off the greengage would be the greengage room, which was eventually shortened to the green room.
To help eliminate the confusion of individual backstage rooms in the Lincoln Theatre, Program Director Karl Freske named each room. Legends of the Silver Screen - the Laurel and Hardy room*, the "Little" Green Room and the Marlin Laundry Co room – after Technical Director Mike Marlin, who refinished the hospitality room, adding a washer/dryer. "Elden’s Loft," located in the "pass" backstage, was also given an official marker. Legend has it, this is where Elden D. Pollock lived for a short time during the Great Depression. Elden’s son, Donald Pollock, refutes the story that his dad lived in the theatre in an interview a few months ago. Nonetheless, the name remains in honor of the man who managed and kept the theatre operating for over 40 years.
No matter what name we place on the room – generations of actors all over the world have prepared to entertain millions of patrons, creating memories and supporting one another in the greenroom.
*(Ed. note -- we can never remember which room is supposed to be the "Laurel" room and which one the "Hardy" room, so this attempt has proven to be uniquely unhelpful. --Karl)
November 1, 2023
As a theatre historian, I love digging in the archive and finding treasures to share with granting organizations. Recently I applied for a grant through the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, which awarded the Lincoln a grant for electrical upgrades in the theatre last year. I thought I would share some of the language I used in the latest grant application to improve and upgrade the Lincoln Theatre’s HVAC system, part of the "Keep Cool Campaign." You can donate to “Keep Cool” today!
The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation: Historic Theatre Grant
The Historic Lincoln Theatre is a rare national asset and one of the few remaining theatres built during the golden cinema age (1920s-1940s). The Lincoln Theatre is recognized by the US National Parks service on the National Register of Historic Places and by the state of Washington on the Washington Heritage Registry. The Lincoln Theatre is a landmark recognized in virtually every published history of the Skagit County Historical Society.
As noted in the Lincoln Theatre National Register application, the Lincoln Theatre and surrounding commercial spaces built at the same time as the theatre were unique, "combining Mount Vernon’s first full sized motion picture palace with a low scale block of storefronts which could house up to 12 businesses." At the time of construction, the building was Mount Vernon's only mixed use commercial development in the city. The application continues, "the size of the venture was matched by the enthusiasm of the opening night crowd which sold out two shows, spilled into the street, and blocked traffic in the downtown area. A special edition of the local newspapers celebrated the new theater, businessman predicted that the show house would attract new visitors and new money to the Mount Vernon business district, and theater operators from as far away as Tacoma, Puyallup and Aberdeen came to observe the facility first-hand."
Prior to the construction of the Lincoln Theatre (as early as 1910), two vaudeville houses were located across the street from one another in downtown Mount Vernon; Rex Vaudeville and Pastime Vaudeville. The two spaces were small storefronts, with limited capacity. These two vaudeville spaces, located one block north of where the theatre stands today, are significant to the formation of the Lincoln Theatre. These performance spaces provided an example of the success live vaudeville could have in the City of Mount Vernon. Coupled with film screenings and the rental of the 12 commercial spaces, the financial success of live vaudeville performances in the small performance venues provided a financial incentive for the Decatur family to move their three story home constructed in 1888 and build a mixed use theatre and commercial enterprise.
The Lincoln Theatre is significant in regional vaudeville history because it was an independent private theatre venture not connected to a national vaudeville circuit. As opposed to a Fox Theatre, Orpheum Theatre or Pantages Theatre, the Lincoln Theatre did not have a catalog of regular vaudeville performers from which to draw. In an interview with Donald Pollack, son of Elden D. Pollack who operated the theatre for 40 years (from the 1940s to 1980), many nationally known vaudeville performers were seen on the Lincoln Theatre stage often performing under a pseudonym due to restrictions imposed by the vaudeville circuit.
The word "Vaudeville" is an anglicized French word roughly translating as "the voice of (voix de) the city (ville)." The variety performers in US East Coast vaudeville were not originally on a national circuit, but came from the city (New York, Philadelphia, Toronto) where the theatre was located. Industrialization and the Transcontinental Railroad organized and commoditized many circuits of traveling performers who made a living traveling from town to town, and moving from circuit to circuit – Fox to Pantages to Orpheum. Performer would create a "schtick" that they could perform for years. Harpo Marx would talk with his horn. Buster Keaton’s father would throw Buster around the stage. The Strongman would bend steel bars, blow up car tires and lift audience members. Rather than changing the act and diversifying their performance the performer would simply change their venue.
The original intent of vaudeville, before industrialization, encouraged local performers to entertain their own community, which like performers did in Skagit County. Without a vaudeville circuit to draw from, the Lincoln Theatre drew from local talent, employing acts who regularly played on the Lincoln Theatre stage such as Eddie Clifford “That Blue Streak Organist” on the Wurlitzer organ, Davis’ Red-Hot Orchestra and Karl Williams – Baritone.
While the style, form and intent of the performance space has moved into a new century, the focus on local performance in Skagit County remains at the Lincoln to this day. Local actors and musicians are seen regularly on the Lincoln Theatre stage in plays, musicals and concerts, drawing from the local community (like Wizard of Oz in November and Seussical the Musical in December). The performers today, just as their predecessors, are the true "Voice of the City."
October 25, 2023
Special thanks to all the Board of Directors and Lincoln Theatre staff who took time from their schedule to attend the Lincoln Theatre Annual Meeting, making the event a huge success. The Lincoln Theatre membership voted in new Board Members Germaine Kornegay, Joseph Bowen and Ron Guttu. Each new Board Member spoke of their experience and time working for the Lincoln Theatre, from past service on the Board of Directors, volunteering for front of house and producing and acting in Lincoln stage productions. Vice President Duane Petzoldt and President Greg Norton praised past Board of Directors members who stepped away from board service over the last year. Special thanks for service included past President and Treasurer Elizabeth Walker, past Secretary Amada Ebert, Valerie Rose, and Rachel Reim-Ledbetter. Thank you Duane and Greg for your moving praise of their efforts.
Bring in the HEAT and Keep it Cool
President Gregory Norton informed the Membership of the work the Board of Directors has been up to over the last year, including modernizing the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system in the theatre. The idea is not new. Plans to upgrade the 1926 boiler heating system have been in place since the Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation was formed in 1987. Every major upgrade to the theatre included plans for an HVAC upgrade – AND every renovation removed the HVAC upgrade due to cost. Now, the Lincoln Board of Directors are laser focused on improving the entire system. To this end, the Lincoln Theatre was included in the 2022 Washington State budget through the Building for the Arts grant with a generous match by Ed Littlefield that helping push the state legislature to include the Lincoln in the state budget. Design of the project was made possible by lodging tax funding from the City of Mount Vernon, City of Burlington and Skagit County.
President Norton outlined the actions the Board of Directors have taken towards the HVAC upgrade, including hiring B + E Consulting to invite interested parties to submit a Request for Qualification (RFQ) to propose a Design/Build team for an energy efficient HVAC system. Out of the RFQ two companies were hired: The design is being executed by RMC Architects out of Bellingham – who have many theatre upgrades in their portfolio including the Paramount and Mount Baker Theatre – and the "build" will be facilitated by Trico, who transformed the Lincoln Theatre lobby and have worked with many regional businesses. In a "design/build" both companies work as a team, with the builders informing the architect what can be done in the physical space and the architect working with the builders on solutions to design problems. The process saves time, energy and money. Together the companies will create a plan that will have schematic and a preliminary budget by Thanksgiving.
Campaign Kick Off!
While the Lincoln has raised just under $1 million for the project, all indications are the cost will be in the $2 million range – or more (with budgetary numbers coming in around Thanksgiving). This is why, at the Annual Membership Meeting the Board of Directors launched:
The Keep Cool Campaign!
You can find the “Keep Cool Campaign” on the Lincoln Theatre donation tab in the dropdown “Designate by Donation.” No donation is too small. No donation is too large. Every donation moves us to our goal of a heating system that works ALL YEAR LONG. During the campaign I will be working with the Board of Directors and the Fundraising Committee to make requests through foundations as well as local, state, and federal grants. Personal requests will be made to prominent members of the community. The Lincoln will expand and target fundraisers to have fun and raise funds.
Thank you Members!
We’ll see you at the SHOW!
October 18, 2023
We will be celebrating Lincoln Theatre Members in our 2023 annual membership meeting on October 19 at 6pm. There were many changes in the past year with a load of progress to celebrate.
Here are some highlights:
Roger Gietzen’s retirement as Executive Director led to a reorganization of the structure of the office. Everyone in the office and part time employees received a health insurance stipend. Full-time employees received holiday pay and accrue vacation time as well. I moved from the Development Director position to Executive Director while continuing grant and fundraising activities. Karl Freske moved from Director of Operations to Program Director, continuing much of his duties overseeing Operations while assuming Roger’s mantel booking acts. Mike Marlin moved from Production and Facilities Manager to the position of Technical Director overseeing all technical elements in the theatre while continuing his facilities and restoration work of the theatre. In the administration office Emmy Bateman was hired at Box Office and Social Media Manager and Brooke Hofstetter as Volunteer coordinator – both areas are seeing great organization, presence and improvement.
One of the most difficult challenges and changes Lincoln administration experienced over the last year is the loss of Peggy Erickson. Peggy served as the Lincoln’s Finance Manager for 18 years and passed away in February 2023. Peggy was sick for some time and her loss was staggering for the office. Roger worked diligently to cover all of the tasks surrounding her position, with the help of Dan Toomey, a longtime supporter, friend and accountant for the Lincoln Theatre. Trisha Bates, who served for years as an accountant in the corporate world, heard of Peggy’s passing and volunteered to help. We are very thankful that Trisha now serves as the Lincoln Theatre Financial Director. Our heart goes out to Peggy’s family and thanks to Dan and Trisha for their work keeping the theatre on solid financial footing.
Membership support is central to the success of the theatre. At the last Annual Meeting in November 2022 there were 809 Lincoln members. Roger always threatened that he would retire when we put a disco ball in the theatre and when we reached 1000 members. The disco ball was put in the theatre for the New Years celebration and the Lincoln reached 1000 member in May 2023. We now have 1050 members as of October 2023 – an increase of 23% in a single year.
Our social media presence has increased, which you may already have experienced. The Lincoln’s Facebook presence increases to 9,641 followers (75% women) and 2000 followers on Instagram. When you are planning on attending a Lincoln Theatre event, let your followers know!
The State of Washington wrote the Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation into the Building for the Arts budget, providing $350,000 for HVAC and Fire Suppression equipment. This was a monumental achievement because the Lincoln did not make the Governor’s proposed budget sent to congress and receiving the monies required lobbying in Olympia - bringing local state senators and representatives onboard the funding initiative. Local legislators, Dave Paul and Alex Ramel spoke about the Lincoln Theatre’s need on the floor of the House. Local philanthropist, Ed Littlefield helped seal the deal by offering a full match of the $350,000, and the funding was approved in both chambers.
Funding for the HVAC campaign was also brought to the Lincoln project through lodging tax funding from the city of Mount Vernon, Burlington and Skagit County, totaling $102,500. These funds are being used by the Board of Directors to hire B + E consulting to conduct a Request for Qualifications for a design/build team. RMC architects are now in the midst of design and will have cost estimates by Thanksgiving.
By the numbers: Film – Performance - Education
- The Lincoln screened 79 different films in the fiscal year.
- 6 Theatrical runs brought 35 performances with 33 technical rehearsals accounting for 19% of the schedule.
- 22 concerts accounted for 6% of the schedule.
- 22 community events rented the facility over the year.
- 35 educational classes occurred between Skagit Theatre Camp and the Lincoln Players Theatre School.
October 10, 2023
Looking back through a January 2009 Lincoln Theatre calendar of events -- which back then came through the mail in newspaper form -- former Executive Director Carol Hayes laments film attendance. Hayes notes the downturn in the economy in 2008 led to dismal numbers and a $40,000 loss. The loss of attendance was tremendous for a company centered on film.
Fifteen years later -- economic downturns and a pandemic later -- the Lincoln Theatre has weathered the storm. As in 2009, The Lincoln is still focused on bringing quality film to the Valley, continuing to expand and diversify avenues of income. In 2008, the Lincoln produced 400 events a year, including film, concerts, and live theatre performances. As of this week in 2023, the Lincoln will have had 301 events in the theatre, keeping pace with 2008, while reducing the number of film screening, increasing the number of live theatre events and concerts, and adding theatre arts classes throughout the year.
As it was in 2009, the number of patrons attending film has dwindled in 2023, not just at the Lincoln, but nationally. The reasons are different today -- lets face it, watching film at home was a different experience in 2009 -- but the need to bring patrons into the theatre is the same. In 2009 Carol Hayes asked, "what can you do?" Her answer resonates today: "Come to films. Attend the concerts. Enjoy the best popcorn in the Valley. Become a member. Make a donation. Even better, do all of these things. It's you and only you who keeps the Lincoln alive."
What is the staff doing to improve film attendance?
Often, brand-new first-run films require weeks of dedicated screen time -- which the Lincoln and Carol Hayes did in 2009, but with our busy calendar it is not possible today. Lincoln staff are constantly working on new ways to attract patrons to a film screenings. The Lincoln Box Office Manager, Emmy Bateman, is expanding the Lincoln social media presence. Program Director Karl Freske (with a degree in graphic design), creates brilliant ads on the web, in newspapers, posters, and on social media for Lincoln events. Karl is curating film series -- Tales from the Silver Scream in October and Noirvember next month, building a pool of patrons that are loving the experience.
Still -- film attendance at the Lincoln follows the national trend.
This leads me to the difference between today and 2009. Today, the Lincoln is on good financial footing. Today, the Lincoln has expanded live events throughout the year and the public has responded -- voting the Lincoln Theatre "Best Performance Venue" and "Best Theatre in Skagit County" in the Skagit Valley Herald's "Best of 2023." Today, patrons regularly fill the theatre for live events -- such as the incredible Petty or Not performance last Saturday, or Al Stewart or the Masters of Hawaiian Music last month. Today, the Lincoln has expanded into arts education, bringing music, dance, and acting courses throughout the year.
Please share your Lincoln Theatre experience in the community. Get together with friends to attend films and concerts. Share Lincoln Theatre’s posts on Facebook and Instagram and let your friends and family know the events you will attend.
No matter what the era -- from 1987, 2009, or today -- we thank you for patronage and will see you at the show!
October 4, 2023
Thank you to all the Lincoln Theatre members, as well as Facebook and Instagram followers, who voted the Lincoln Theatre the 2023 Best Performance Venue and the Best Theatre in Skagit County in Skagit Valley Herald's BEST OF SKAGIT. The awards and accolades could not have happened without YOUR vote! The active presence of the Lincoln Theatre in our community would not be possible without the hundreds of Lincoln Theatre VOLUNTEERS, who usher, clean the bathrooms, mop floors, vacuum theatre seats, clean the green room, and hang posters from Bellingham to Arlington – Concrete to Anacortes. The Lincoln Theatre also relies on its membership to keep great entertainment coming your way. The health of the organization is seen in the number of members – now over 1020, with 53 members renewing and coming on board THIS WEEK!
Membership has rewards! When you access Lincoln member discounts at local businesses (see the list of businesses here) you are bringing the downtown together. Your discount lets businesses participating in the 10% Club know that membership helped bring you into their restaurant or storefront, connecting you to the valuable connections the Lincoln is creating downtown. Downtown is stronger together – and the Lincoln Theatre is a cornerstone and constant connector! So, please use your membership perks and receive the full benefits of membership this fall and winter!
When you think "gifts" – think "Lincoln Membership." A Lincoln Membership keeps on giving throughout the year. Yes, you receive $2 off on tickets, as well as 10% savings on concessions, Art Bar beverages, and Lincoln Merchandise. But the NUMBER ONE reason to give the gift of Membership is access to MEMBER-ONLY PRESALES for Lincoln Theatre members. Throughout the year, Lincoln-presented events – and, often, events presented by outside groups as well – have a one-week window where ONLY MEMBERS can purchase primo front-row seats (or row "L" with loads of leg room!). Have an outstanding employee to thank? Give membership! Birthday? Give membership! Your gift of membership provides the recipient with a year of great seats to the best concerts in Skagit County!
September 27, 2023
Sifting through the Lincoln archive I fell upon our original outreach to the community. Many of you may remember The Lincoln Newsletter -- a newspaper that the Lincoln Theatre printed each quarter and then each month, outlining events at the Lincoln as well as history of the Historic Vaudeville theatre. The specific issue of this publication that I found is from February 20, 1993.
Peter Heffelfinger was the first Executive Director, who many may also remember. In this issue's "message from the Executive Director," he connects to the history of the Lincoln through an interview he conducted (along with Bob Martin) with the sole owner of the Lincoln Theatre for its first fifty years: Eldon Pollock, who passed away at the age of 90 a few months before the article was printed. The interview took place at Eldon Pollock’s home on Lincoln Hill in Mount Vernon,"overlooking the town and the theatre where he spent his life." The family home on 6th Street is once again for sale and I recently took time during an open house held by the realtor to see the two-story structure. Seeing the immaculate family home, with high ceilings, detailed wainscoting, a period ice box and working desk in the kitchen, I can see Eldon, Peter and Bob Martin on the back concrete deck with a spot of tea.
Heffelfinger relates, "He told of being a young graduate of M.I.T., coming to the small town by the Skagit River to run the theatre just built by his father; of 15¢ admissions and 5¢ popcorn; of buying a farmer's truckload of popcorn during the Depression and stacking it in the lobby for a winter's supply; and of eventually operating the two other theatres in town – the Lyric and the Mission. Above all, he gave us the feeling of a man creating a world where people came to dream, to laugh, and to cry together."
We come full circle. Two Sundays ago Eldon Pollock’s son, Donald Pollock, celebrated his 90th birthday with a surprise party held at the Lincoln Theatre. Donald’s family enjoyed food, popcorn and a screening of his favorite film. Donald was raised in the house on Lincoln Hill with a view of the theatre where his father worked. Donald was raised in the Lincoln Theatre and told stories of making popcorn at the Lido (supplied by the Food Co-op) and delivering the popcorn by hand for the Mission and the Lincoln prior to the evening film. Donald spoke of his father's love of flying; of his father’s M.I.T. mind swirling out inventions in his workshop that is still off the Lincoln’s "greenroom" downstairs -- such as a bike made into a drill press.
As a theatre historian, "place" has a powerful pull for me and we can learn a lot about where we live by looking at how the place became what it is today. As Executive Director, taking over for Roger Gietzen, I have a deep appreciation for the managers that ran the theatre when it opened, for Eldon Pollock that took over when the market collapsed and ran the theatre for decades, and for the executive directors and Board Members that formed the Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation to preserve this jewel.
I hope to do them justice by keeping them in your thoughts from this chair. As Peter Heffelfinger said, "As we continue to revive the Lincoln, we should remember Eldon Pollock and how much his spirit still exists within the walls of the theatre."
Elden gets into his car, circa 1940s
September 13, 2023
Yesterday marked the beginning of the second year of Fall quarter theatre arts classes at the Lincoln Theatre. THE LINCOLN PLAYERS THEATRE SCHOOL provides focused theatre coursework, trained and talented instructors and a load of fun for every student. Jennifer Campbell and Jana Goetsch are team teaching MUSICAL THEATRE SPOOKTACULAR:SINGING AND DANCING. Jennifer is focused on music and Jana on dance, with small class sizes that provide one-on-one attention. The focus of all Lincoln Players courses diverge from the summer Skagit Theatre Camp, where the campers have fun putting on a performance. Theatre school is about the work – about the craft, not the product. Theatre School students gain skills that are repeatable in achieving success in any theatre, in any situation. If you have a child 12-18 that would like to join the older SPOOKTACULAR course, there are a few slots open.
The Lincoln Theatre’s own Mike Marlin will begin teaching an AUDITION PERFORMANCE MASTER CLASS in October. Mike holds a BFA from the Cornish College of the Arts Professional Actor’s Conservatory. He was last seen on the Lincoln stage in SVC’s production of Something Rotten! with a very physical portrayal of Nostradamus. Mike trained in the Jacques Lecoq technique at Cornish. Lecoq was a French acting instructor known for his teaching methods in physical theatre and movement, releasing the actor to try new avenues of creative expression. Mike’s MASTER CLASS will pull these techniques into the audition process for the student while unpacking the nuts and bolts of how to land a great part in the theatre and on film. All ages 11+ are welcomed to sign up today for the six-week course.
Now in our second year, the Lincoln Players Theatre School is moving towards a group of courses that assist young and old alike in the techniques of theatre: acting – singing – dance – backstage crafts. With a focus on learning outcomes in each class the Lincoln Players are moving steadily toward a certificate program – a set of courses that one takes to become a LINCOLN PLAYER. The certificate’s weight on a resume will be proven by those who go through the program and achieve success. Education has been in the Lincoln Theatre’s mission from the start. With a growing group of instructors, a staff and Board of Directors that support arts education, and local financial support from members, donors and businesses, the Lincoln Players will continue to be your home for theatre arts education.
September 5, 2023
September brings Laugh Out Loud FUN at the Lincoln! All month long you will LOL with a festival of fictional rock'n'roll films, from Jack Black kicking off the Thursday fest in School of Rock, to the iconic rockumentary send-up This is Spinal Tap, there is something for every rocker. Our Program Director, Karl, is working overtime to connect film to what matters in life -- with all things CATS in the Cat Video Fest September 15, and with September 19 "Talk Like a Pirate Day" featuring Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Its time to ABIDE! Dudestock is special this year, celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Big Lebowski. Come as your favorite Coen Brothers character – Walter, The Dude, Donny, Jesus, Bunny, Maude, Jackie Treehorn, Brant, the Stranger…. Prizes for the best costume of the night include a comfy couch seat in the theatre for the winner. The party includes bowling on the big screen and specialty drinks at the bar. Doors open at 7 with the film starting at 8.
If you purchased tickets this week for the sold out Al Stewart with his Empty Pockets band, you are in for a treat. Al Stewart loves playing the Lincoln, so if you are among those without tickets, I have faith he will be back. Not to worry -- Masters of Hawaiian Music perform September 22. Four-time Grammy winner George Kahumoku Jr, with Led Kaapana and Jeff Peterson, share Hawai'i's unique & sprightly folk styles, with origins in the early 19th century Hawaiian paniolo (cowboy) culture. Comedy will continue on September 30th, as improv comedians David and Ken bring their band Citizen Hurricane: The World's Greatest Improvised Rock & Roll Comedy Act to the Lincoln stage. If you love improv you will love David and Ken, who are members of The Comic Strippers and alumni of both Second City and Vancouver TheatreSports.
Finally, Jim Henson’s birthday will be celebrated on Sunday September 24th with two showings of The Muppet Movie. In our hearts forever and gone too soon, Henson will be remembered by young and old alike. Bring the family, bring friends… "keep believing, keep pretending..."
August 30, 2023
Over the last week I was on vacation in Alaska as a guest of my dear friend, Kurt Dunbar, who serves as a Naturalist aboard Holland America Lines Nieuw Amsterdam. As Executive Director I am blessed with a great team that can run the Lincoln ship while I board another vessel, and a Board of Directors that sees the value of taking a break -- returning renewed and ready to dig into autumn with performances, Theatre School, concerts, and a load of film (check the calendar).
Karl, the Lincoln Program Director, said a great Director's Chair would be sharing some of my photos with you. I agree. Feel free to share. Enjoy.
Dolphins love to race the ship…. I also saw a Whale breaching, but through my binoculars, not the camera. Humpback whales are magical. It is late in the season, but the pod of Humpback Whales had not begun the journey to Mexico or Hawaii.
Otters in Glacier Bay are in the thousands, from ship to shore, as far as the eye can see.
Modern Tlingit Thunderbird mask at the Totem museum (a must visit) in Ketchikan.
The Klondike White Pass & Yukon Route Railway travels on the edge of the mountain into Canada. The train was completed just in time for the Gold rush in the Klondike to be moved to Nome, which was far easier to get to. The train was later used during WWII to transport US (primarily African-American) soldiers into the wilderness to build the Alaska highway.
The BB King All Stars playing in the BB King Blues Club. Bria and Darius have PIPES! Boy, can they sing! True All Stars… it would be great to book them at the Lincoln!
My brother from another mother – Kurt Dunbar, Naturalist and History Instructor at SVC!
August 16, 2023
BrewFest is now 21! Congratulations to everyone who participated, donated, hydrated, celebrated, and collaborated to make BrewFest on the Skagit a success.
- over 800 BrewFest participants enjoyed the heat of the day with 24 breweries providing over 50 beers. Many brought their own chairs or enjoyed picnic tables under shaded tents.
- There were 44 VIPs kicking it in the shade of the VIP tent, surrounded by the decoration of hops provided by HOP SKAGIT and the antics of the White Branches BrewFest Queen, Taylor (the royal maiden), and her royal guardsman – our eldest volunteer, Robert Wilson (94 years of age). The Queen knighted VIPs and Robert -- very fun.
- The bands were a joy. We had the opportunity to present a band new to Skagit County, Aardvarticus Zeus; enjoy the improvised comedy of Citizen Hurricane -- their song for the SPOT representatives (Saving Pets One at a Time) was heartwarming and funny; and end the day dancing to Yogoman Burning Band. Thank you to all that danced, I enjoyed cutting a rug with you!
- The City of Mount Vernon’s Parks and Enrichment Services was very helpful getting Edgewater Park ready, from moving the stands by the stage for Upper Left Cornhole, to mowing the field and providing wifi on site. I serve on the Mount Vernon Arts Commission and have the privilege of working with Director Jennifer Berner and her Sr. Administrative Assistant Rashel O’Neil. They understand many of the struggles faced by summer and outdoor activities and are there to help. Connect with them if you have an event to plan and thank them for their BrewFest support when you get a chance.
- Finally, I would like to thank the BrewFest on the Skagit sponsors who helped kick off the fun. Please thank them for their BrewFest support!
- Guardian Northwest Title and Escrow (a continued barrel sponsor from BrewFest 2022)
- Peoples Bank (a sponsor of many events and youth arts education classes at the Lincoln)
- Skagit Valley Dental (a renewed sponsor and long-time poster location for the Lincoln)
- Commercial Cold Storage (A longtime supporter of Brewfest - BRINGING the ICE and keeping us CHILL)
- Dimensional Communication provided the Media Truck, with images on screen of the band and event. Dimensional continues to support the Lincoln throughout the year – from sound design, installs, and artistic problem solving!
As we get through this heat wave and begin Fall events at the Lincoln, know that the sponsors, patrons, brewers and breweries that gave on Saturday are a part of the ongoing Lincoln Theatre programming keeping the Valley entertained. I encourage you to come downtown and enjoy the fruits of your labor! You did that!
August 9, 2023
ALL HANDS ON DECK!
Brewfest on the Skagit turns 21! Now we can finally have a beer!
Brewfest on the Skagit is the longest running brew festival in the state and the Lincoln Theatre’s largest fundraiser of the year. Tickets are still available, but VIP tickets are limited. Get yours today!
The Lincoln Theatre is abuzz…. Clare is leading volunteers organizing cups and beer scrip and getting the VIP gift bags in order (including an etched BrewFest pint glass); Brooke is incredible -- organizing volunteers by creating a detailed matrix that places each volunteer into a position to serve the patrons, led by a Lincoln employee; Cynthia has been active for months -- connecting and re-connecting with past and present brewers (24 are coming Saturday), and asking for raffle prizes from local business owners (including Seattle Kraken, Everett AquaSox), breweries (beer for a year), and restaurants (including Ristretto, Cá Phê Sông, Poirer’s on the River, and SV Food Co-op); Karl is programming the Lincoln stage into the future while building graphics for BrewFest ads and signage on site; Emmy is the most visible -- building Instagram and Facebook posts and getting BrewFest on readerboards throughout the valley; Mike is pulling together the elements -- Fencing, power, tents, chairs, leisure games, creating detailed maps of the BrewFest grounds for city personnel and parks and hanging BrewFest banners throughout the county; Dave is getting ready to run the Dimensional Communications Media truck at Edgewater Park, providing a large screen for patrons to see the stage and all the BrewFest activities as well as running sound; and Moses and Hunter are "boots on the ground," pulling everything Brewfest from Storage and placing banners around the county with Mike.
All of this in the middle of the most successful film screening of the year -- Barbie drew over 1000 patrons over the weekend. (It was great to see everyone in PINK! Thank you for attending.)
The Lincoln Theatre staff is incredible and resilient. Please join me in saying “Thank YOU” to all the Lincoln Theatre staff.
For volunteers helping with Brewfest on the Skagit…you are central to our success. The Lincoln Theatre would not be here without your gift of time and energy. There are many volunteer positions available for Friday (set up) and Sunday (load out). Please sign up with Brooke@lincolntheatre.org.
Finally, we are looking for YOU to come down to Edgewater Park and enjoy the 21st BrewFest on the Skagit this Saturday! VIPs enter early (1 pm) with all other patrons entering at 2 pm. VIPs will come to the VIP tent to receive their gift basket and become part of the White Branches Brewfest Queen’s Royal Court. You will have a special tent to relax, hang out with the Brewfest Queen and have a front row seat to the music on stage. VIP tickets are limited. The VIP experience is a great way to support the Lincoln and have a great time!
We’ll see you at BrewFest on the Skagit on Saturday!
August 2, 2023
Our 2023 Skagit Theatre Camp was a HUGE success!
40 Skagit Theatre campers enjoyed a standing ovation from the family, friends, and the theatre-loving public. The campers saw 400 patrons over the two performances, enjoying an experience that can only be created in performance -- the sharing of story and the give-and-take between actor and audience.
Audiences joined into the fun during the song "We're in a Play" as the actors made them say funny words like "banana," while clapping and swinging their arms around. The crowd cried to camper Rhona’s Ugly Duckling during the song "Different," as well as camper Ivy’s portrayal of Annie singing "Maybe." The large group numbers throughout the musical revue had the campers cleanly executing their choreography.
Great theatre is not an accident. The creation of quality entertainment requires building an exceptional team, and that is exactly what the STC campers experienced throughout the process. Behind the scenes, six returning high school and college STC interns -- Alyssa, Emma, Gavin, Natalie, Riven and Z -- were supported by Lincoln staff Moses and Hunter, as well as Ruben and Camper Ali, to build the production through rehearsal and into performance.
Directors Jennifer Campbell, Jana Goestch, and Mike Marlin brought a well-executed plan together to balance the needs of 40 campers aged 6 to 14. The entire theatre space was utilized, from the green room to the lobby -- the seating and stage -- to meet educational outcomes. Jennifer and Mike used the green room downstairs to teach acting and singing -- in small and large groups. Jana and Mike rehearsed choreography and movement, blocking each scene on stage. Mike led Moses and Hunter in support of camper Ali in the design of projected scenery and lighting (including moving lights) for each song. Interns used the lobby space to engage campers in theatre games and script readings. The Lincoln Theatre was alive with activity -- bringing the joy of theatre to the next generation.
Now, summer camp moves into Fall courses. The Lincoln Players Theatre School returns in Fall of 2023 with several course offerings. Beginning September 12 and 13, Jennifer Campbell and Jana Goestch return to co-teach the course "Musical Theater Spooktacular: Singing and Dancing." Two classes will split by age range -- ages 7-11 (Tuesdays) and 12-18 (Wednesdays) -- from 4:00 to 6:00 pm for seven weeks. Vocal instruction and focused choreography around songs with a Halloween theme will give each student the opportunity to grow as a performer! Class size is limited to 10, providing focused attention for students.
STC Director Mike Marlin will provide an "Audition and Performance Masterclass" starting October 3 -- for ages 11 and over -- which will help the actor build a solid set of techniques that allow them to shine throughout the audition and performance process. The course will provide the actor with sensible practice in character building and stage presence in preparation for audition and performance opportunities. Again, 10 students in the course.
The Lincoln Theatre is dedicated to arts education -- providing opportunities for kids of all ages to excel! If you would like to donate to Lincoln Arts Education, the "Donation" tab on the Lincoln Theatre site has a drop-down selection for "Lincoln Theatre School."
You can also support Lincoln operations -- supporting all programing -- by coming to the movies! Barbie and Oppenheimer are on their way …. See the Lincoln Calendar for more details.
We’ll see you at the show!
July 19, 2023
Skagit Theatre Camp 2023 began at the Lincoln Theatre this week.
Skagit Theatre Camp has a long history inspiring young people to the stage in Skagit Valley. Started in 2016, Skagit Theatre Camp (STC) was created as a co-operative program between the Lincoln Theatre and local theater groups META Performing Arts (now NITE) and Theater Arts Guild (TAG). The Lincoln took over Skagit Theatre Camp as a lone endeavor in the summer of 2018. Our previous two camps were filled, with 40 youth and a strong team of gifted adults and interns at the helm last year.
The goal of STC is to introduce youth ages 6-14 to theatre arts in a fun and engaging environment. It is also our aim to make the camp experience available to every child, regardless of a family's economic situation or ability to pay. Because of this, we offer scholarship opportunities each year, supported by businesses, tribes, local foundations, and members like you. If you would like to support STC arts education, click here and select "Lincoln Theatre School."
2023 will see a musical revue titled PURE IMAGINATION, including songs from many popular musicals. PURE IMAGINATION tickets for July 29th are on sale now. Enjoy a very cute show and support your local camper!
July 5, 2023
Film is a key part of the mission of the Lincoln Theatre -- to “inspire our diverse community” -- and this week our community is in for a treat. For those who had the opportunity to see the first chapter of the Academy Award-winning film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, it is time to see the second part of the saga, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The best animated film last year was filled with award-winning writing and dazzling visuals filled with color. Across the Spider-Verse is a film that demands a big screen and great sound -- and to be seen with your community. The Spider-Verse helps us Love Film Again.
Not to be outdone by young whipper-snappers, Lincoln Theatre Program Director Karl Freske has curated a new line-up of heist & caper films -- THE ART OF THE TAKE -- screened every Wednesday. Next Wednesday (7/12) one of Karl’s favorite films, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) will thrill audiences. Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw star in this extraordinary film about the kidnapping of a New York subway car for a million dollar ransom. Check out the entire line-up of THE ART OF THE TAKE through July.
Finally, Guitar Christmas comes early this year. If there are seats – grab ‘em! The three straight days of concerts will demonstrate the dexterity of Lincoln Theatre programming and the MAD SKILLS of our CRACK PRODUCTION TEAM, led by Technical Director, Mike Marlin!
Three days of Guitar Legends storm into the theatre! Leo Kottke returns to the Lincoln Theatre July 13, followed by The Robert Cray Band July 14, and ending the week with Greg Koch and the Koch Marshall Trio shredding on July 15!
But wait -- there’s MORE! WHAT? YES! British Guitar Legend Albert Lee finishes a month of Guitar Mayhem on July 18th. Pick your legend or see them all -- point all of your friends who embrace the guitar to the Lincoln Theatre.
June 28, 2023
This marks the passing of an era…literally.
Roger Gietzen moved to the Executive Director position at the Lincoln Theatre in 2014 and has worked for at the Theatre since 1997 – 27 years! He is the tenth Executive Director, with the distinction of having worked with all nine of his predecessors. When Roger began volunteering at the Lincoln, popular films included Good Will Hunting, Contact, and I Know What You Did Last Summer. "Streaming" meant you had a subscription to HBO or rented films on video tape (DVDs were new), so going to the cinema was king. Our nonprofit, the Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation, was 10 years old.
Over the course of Roger’s tenure, he saw major upgrades and changes to the building. As I mentioned last week, Mount Vernon Mayor Skye Richendrfer worked with the Lincoln Board of Directors to have the City purchase the Theatre in 2001. One of the first major fundraisers, the Lincoln Theatre's Renovation Campaign, brought new seats, a sand-blasted and rehabilitated facade, and the construction of a free-standing ticket booth and marquee by 2002. In 2005, the Lighting Improvement Project was completed, concentrating largely on the auditorium.
With the world moving from analog to digital, major changes to your cinema experience came in 2013, just prior to Roger’s move to Executive Director. The Lincoln Board began writing grants and raising funds for the "Digital Futures Initiative," with the goal to transition to digital projection as mandated by the motion picture industry. The cost of the digital transition put many classic movie palaces out of business, but thanks to large grants and public support the campaign was a success. As the digital projectors were installed Roger stopped the removal of the two 35mm projectors in the booth, with the plan to have regular screenings of 35mm film. Thanks to Roger’s foresight you now enjoy “Noirvember,” screenings of classic Noir Films – and more come – on 35mm.
Roger has served in every position at the theatre – volunteer, box office, facilities, house manager, operations manager, and finance. He is an expert at booking acts and a consummate host: buzzing around the theatre the day of show, cleaning, helping Mike with stage equipment, and making sure everything is in its place and ready. While ticket prices to national tours have spiked, Roger has kept ticket prices reasonable, and the repeat performances of acts like Leo Kottke, Blind Boys of Alabama and Robert Cray are a testament to how much they love the theatre and the audience response.
As we send off Roger to retirement, he will not be far away. After some time with his feet up, I am assured we will see him volunteering at BrewFest on the Skagit on August 12th. Past and present Lincoln members, patrons, volunteers, board members, and downtown businesses owe a debt of gratitude to Roger Gietzen. The time for our Membership to thank him will be Friday, June 30 at 6 pm, and the general public can thank him at BrewFest. I look forward to seeing many of you at both events to send off the most successful Lincoln Theatre Executive Director in HISTORY!
June 21, 2023
This week we celebrate Mount Vernon icon Skye Reichendrfer, who passed away in November 2022. The Lincoln Theatre is here today because of Skye. He was a constant Lincoln Theatre champion and saw an opportunity to solidify the structure of the organization while serving as mayor of Mount Vernon. Thanks to the hard work of the Lincoln Board and Skye’s foresight and planning, the City of Mount Vernon purchased the Lincoln in 2001.
I had the privilege of working with Skye on the design for the Edgewater Park stage in West Mount Vernon. Shakespeare Northwest (SNW) used the park annually, constructing an entire theatre -- stage, seating, and lighting towers -- just after the Highland Games concluded in July. I served as the SNW Artistic Director and Skye asked for my input to identify performance needs.
Skye was skilled at running a meeting, reaching consensus, and bringing the right people and disciplines together to create solutions. As a builder of performance venues, Skye was a driver in the Edgewater Park stage, The formation of Celtic Arts Center, preserving the Lincoln Theatre and a major contributor in the construction of McIntyre Hall.
Last April I asked Skye to write a letter of support for a national award for the Lincoln Theatre. In his well-crafted letter, he identifies changing "economic dynamics" that were destroying downtowns across America. Skye wrote, "as anchor businesses moved out, we've seen example after sad example of communities losing their heart and soul, giving way to boarded-up storefronts and much worse." As Mayor, Skye saw the city's acquisition of the theatre as part of a strategy to retain the heart and soul of downtown and to support an "engaged and enthusiastic arts community" in Skagit County.
Skye's enthusiasm for the Lincoln Theatre is palpable in his letter: "The Lincoln Theatre was then and remains today and important reason why Mount Vernon's downtown core retains a genuine hustle and bustle feel. […] The atmosphere of the Theatre is electric, and audiences can't help but be transformed to another place and time while attending events there."
For Skye, providing a place for artists to perform was not only great for the community, but a lift to the economy. You can see the fruition of Skye's vision in packed downtown restaurants prior to every large concert or theatre performance at the Lincoln.
Above all, Skye had a deep connection to the performer. "As Mayor of our City at the time, I was inspired by our engaged and enthusiastic arts community. We shared a passion for not just the preservation of a space, but also the vital contribution the Lincoln provided for civic engagement, entertainment, and celebration." It is in this spirit of celebration that I ask the entire arts community, and all Lincoln Members and patrons alike, to lift a dram to Skye!
June 14, 2023
Learn to Love Film Again.
While live performance is BACK – with capacity crowds at live concerts and theatre performances – film continues to languish. Low attendance to first run film is a national phenomenon felt by movie houses across the country and the Lincoln is no exception. The question on everyone’s mind is how do we get audiences back to the big screen?
Film is central to the Lincoln Theatre mission. Lincoln Program Director, Karl Freske, has a long history with film. Karl co-founded and co-owned Bellingham’s independent movie rental store Film Is Truth 24 Times a Second, where he presided for more than twenty years. Using his knowledge and background Karl is curating Lincoln Theatre film events, giving you a great reason to meet up with friends and enjoy an Art Bar brew and bucket of popcorn. Last month, with the generous sponsorship of Ron and Holly Guttu as well Jere LaFollette and Wende Sanderson, we began a curated French film series. The success of the curated series led to new curated series coming to the Lincoln. We are celebrating the first Asian American woman to win an Academy Award, “Kicking it” with Michelle Yeoh. Next month you will journey through the “The Art of the Take,” celebrating heist films – with a preview to die for: The Art of the Take: A Lincoln Film Series - YouTube.
Coming film events extend beyond series, with a special Pride Month screening of the camp cult classic But I'm a Cheerleader sponsored by PFLAG Skagit. Sundays through June features Sack Lunch Cinema, with family-friendly films in a sensory-friendly environment. For those desiring quality first run film, You Hurt My Feelings is smart, funny, and above all entertaining (and has a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes).
Thanks to Karl’s films, it is time to love the big screen again – with a bucket and a brew.
June 7, 2023
I'm Damond Morris and this is my first "Director’s Chair" as Executive Director of the Lincoln Theatre. I would like to take this moment to highlight the event of the week!
Governor Jay Inslee took time out during his visit to Mount Vernon to tour the Lincoln on Tuesday. Lincoln volunteers, staff, and the Board of Directors were on hand to thank Governor Inslee for awarding the Lincoln Theatre the 2022 Governor’s Heritage Award for an organization (which he signed), and for signing the budget that brings $350,000 to modernize the Lincoln’s HVAC.
The visit was wonderful. Governor Inslee is a movie buff and was drawn to our Wurlitzer organ maestro, Fred Beeks, who graciously played for the Governor and Trudi Inslee as they entered the theatre. Fred not only plays, but also tirelessly maintains the Lincoln Wurlitzer, which he shared with the Governor. Seeing Fred get well-earned praise from Gov. Inslee was priceless. You can see some of the exchange on the Governor’s Instagram page: Governor Jay Inslee (@govinslee) | Instagram.
I have huge shoes to fill, and do not come to the Executive Director position with the same skill sets as Roger Gietzen, who has served the Lincoln for 26 years. I will continue with the same enthusiasm I have brought to the Development Director position, bringing regional prestige, accolades, and increased funding for important programs, as well as continued preservation of our historic cultural cornerstone and economic engine of downtown Mount Vernon.
I have incredible colleagues who support one another and are very transparent when something needs fixing. I will lean on them, and they on me, to make sure that YOU know about (and wish to attend) the exciting events, educational programs, and film happening continually at the Lincoln Theatre.
We’ll see you at the SHOW!
May 24, 2023
LINCOLN THEATRE CENTER FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
With significant consideration given to the skills, experiences and expertise needed to successfully guide the Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation in its next phase of growth, the Board of Directors has selected Damond Morris, PhD. to serve as Executive Director, replacing retiring Executive Director Roger Gietzen!. Click HERE for the full Press Release.
May 17, 2023
WE DID IT!
1001 Members as of this week! Thank you for your support!
May 10, 2023
ABC: ALWAYS BE CLOSING!
As I near the end of my tenure at the Lincoln, I keep hearing a voice in the back of my mind reminding me to ALWAYS BE CLOSING! So many goals have been met over the years except for the elusive 1000th membership! I first brought up the challenge at Paula Poundstone's show back in 2018. At that time we were holding at around 800 memberships. Ms. Poundstone took up the mantle and added two new memberships - one for herself, and one she donated to a "someone nice". By March 2020, our last show before shuttering for our COVID intermission, we were close with 905. Then during the pandemic membership dropped to an all time low of 462. Since that time we've slowly built back up to 992. 8 MEMBERS AWAY! Let's do this together before I go.
If you want to contribute by joining the Lincoln Party click HERE.
April 26, 2023
97TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
The Historic Lincoln Theatre celebrates its 97th Anniversary with a special screening of two films by Charley Bowers -- an innovator in the silent film era, blending live-action slapstick with stop-motion animation accompanied by our Mighty Wurlitzer.
When the Lincoln Theatre was built, it was hailed for its originality and beauty. The original owner, Elden Weigel (E. W.) Pollock, enlisted noted Seattle architect William Aitken to design the Lincoln in a modified Renaissance Revival style. The Lincoln Theatre officially opened on April 21, 1926 to rave reviews. The Argus newspaper reported on May 13, 1926, "Nothing like it has ever been constructed before...the theatrical world is sitting back astounded."
The Mighty Lincoln Wurlitzer was billed as one of the world's wonders during the heyday of silent films. The expense to install was over a quarter of the cost of the entire building!
"The Organ Grinder" Harvey Rossiter will provide live accompaniment on the Mighty Wurlitzer, while Katie Moyer will perform along with the two short subjects. Fred Beeks will perform during the preshow, beginning at 5:00.
After the film, have a slice of birthday cake on us!
All this amazing entertainment for a special 1926 "opening night" price of thirty-five cents!
The volunteer organists who perform regularly before each film showing are Fred Beeks, Harvey Rossiter, Glen Des Jardins, Ruth Ann Burley, and Katie Moyer. Thanks to all of them for keeping the theatre organ tradition alive at the Lincoln!
More information on our Wurlitzer HERE.
More information on our History HERE.
April 19, 2023
Visiting the Tulip Festival Street Fair? Coming to a performance at the Lincoln Theatre this weekend?
The Tulip Festival Street Fair takes over downtown April 21 -23. The Lincoln Theatre will be hosting the performance stage in Pine Square and have a booth at the fair this weekend. Stop by to say 'hi' and enter for your chance to win a Lincoln Merch and Membership Basket!
If you have tickets to an event, give yourself extra time for travel and parking. Come early and take time to enjoy the Festival. Follow this link for our handy map below to help you navigate parking and street closures.
April 13, 2023
Lincoln Theatre Executive Director Announces Retirement
After 25+ years with the organization, including 8 years as Executive Director, it's time for me to take a little time to catch my breath, and then look forward to my next adventure. I’ve been fortunate to have had the support of an Extraordinary Staff, the Lincoln Theatre Board of Directors (both past and present), Members, and Volunteers, and together we took the organization from a scrappy theatre struggling to find its place in the local arts community to being the Governor’s Arts and Heritage Award Honoree for Organization in 2022. We have accomplished so much together but there is much for you, our supporters, to look forward to, including a robust calendar of events booked for the coming season (I can't wait to announce some of these shows), the full return of live theatre to the Lincoln Stage, and our Centennial Celebration in 2026!
For my formal Letter of Retirement click HERE.
Lincoln Theatre Executive Director
April 5, 2023
Marley’s Ghost's Ed Littlefield Jr.
Ed Littlefield, Jr.’s self-proclaimed objective is to reach the kind of transcendence in his music that brings him to tears. He sings, plays acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, mandocello, pedal steel guitar, dobro, piano, bass, and backing vocals.
His early music experience began with piano lessons at age 8 and guitar lessons at 10 that led to a 30+ year run with the band Marley's Ghost and a recording studio and label (Sage Arts) in Arlington. In 1984, Littlefield started putting together his studio. Later, while recording an album for Danny Wheetman, Jon Wilcox and Mike Phelan were brought in. Magic happened in the studio. “It was way too cool. It was so cool it took me years to get my solo album out,” Littlefield said. Littlefield said there’s never been a boring moment with Marley’s Ghost in 39 years. “It’s one of the coolest things that could possibly happen to me. … The first couple of years I had to work at not falling into bliss (on stage),” said the ex-Ranch Romance musician. The four voices harmonize so well that Marley’s Ghost could be an a cappella group. “But give us instruments and we turn into a string band. No other band sounds like we do. The bedrock thing is four guys who sing well together.” The band loves bluegrass, gospel, old-time, Celtic, reggae, country, Cajun and R&B; brings a truckload of stringed instruments (upon occasion, Littlefield’s bagpipes), and sings their signature four-part harmonies.
Littlefield is also a major supporter of the arts in Skagit & Snohomish Counties, Seattle, Port Townsend, and elsewhere. He helps build community support for nonprofits. His local philanthropic work includes contributions to the Lincoln Theatre, the Stage at Edgewater Park, and to the eponymous Littlefield Celtic Center.
His parents involved their three children in financially supporting organizations when Littlefield was still in his 20s. Littlefield inherited enough money to continue the work. “Every day I praise my father’s hard work that allows me to do what I want to do. I consider it a perpetual endowment that gives me time to study, to think, to play music, to read.” Littlefield
We invite you to attend the show this week in support of the music and the man!
Lincoln Theatre Executive Director