The Audian Theatre has been part of social fabric of life in Pullman for nearly a century. Built in 1915, this building originally housed Pullman's fifth silent movie house, the Grand Theater. The building was remodeled in 1930, reopening as the Audian Theater in October 1930.
In late 1915, the Grand Theater opened
in the newly constructed Jackson Block and entertained residents until closing
in 1928. Remodeled as the Audian Theater in October of 1930 and expanded again
in 1936 following the demolition of an adjoining garage, the several-hundred-seat,
single-screen theater featured the latest movie technology and, together with
the Cordova Theater, served as one of Pullman’s principal movie houses into the
early twenty-first century. Original light fixtures and a balcony distinguish
the extant auditorium.1
At the time of the Audian Theater’s opening in 1930, only two
other theaters were operating in Pullman: the Cordova and the Liberty. Other
theaters came and went over the twentieth century, but with the exception of a
brief closure in the mid-1990s for upgrades, the Audian remained in
operation until the 2000s. Unlike many older, single-screen theaters across the
country which evolved into music venues, community theaters, and other
functions, the Audian always functioned as a movie house.