The Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre is Moscow's premiere historic, downtown, community
performing arts venue and cinematic art house dedicated to hosting and providing high quality
arts experiences to residents of and visitors to the Palouse region.
The Kenworthy prohibits discrimination, in the entertainment and the audience, on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age.
Goals and Strategies:
To restore and preserve the Kenworthy Theater as an historic building, maintaining it as a living theater while retaining its historic beauty and financial value. To encourage film and other performing arts that would not otherwise be available in the area. To provide opportunities for quality family entertainment.
What We Are
The Kenworthy was remodeled in 1949 with the addition of a new terracotta tile façade and enlarged marquee. The Kenworthy was run as the premier movie theater of Moscow by the Kenworthy family and as the centerpiece of their movie organization until the late 1980s, when it was leased out to Carmike Cinemas. The stage was converted into a coffee house (Cafe Libre) in 1979 and connected to the adjoining bookstore (BookPeople). In the 1980's the stage was converted by the Kenworthy family to an office/apartment, and housed the Kenworthy Family trust offices until its gift by the Kenworthy Family to Moscow Community Theatre, Inc. on December 31, 1999.
History: Located at 508 Main Street, the Kenworthy Theatre occupies a dominant position in the very midst of downtown Moscow. Although the opening of the Kenworthy Theatre as a public theater by Milburn Kenworthy took place on January 4, 1926, parts of the building were in use as an opera house as far back as 1908.
Milburn Kenworthy purchased a Robert Morton theater pipe organ in 1927 which was used to accompany silent films. The organ is now housed at the University of Idaho Auditorium, where it has been restored to premium condition.
This brick structure was enlarged in 1928 by extending the theater southward for twenty feet. At that time, the theater was used for vaudeville and other dramatic productions and had a full but shallow stage with proscenium and fly space (see attached photos). It was also used for silent films with the placement of a screen in front of the stage and a projection booth at the back of the balcony.
A non-profit organization, Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, Inc. was formed, and in January, 2000 initiated operation and restoration of the theater.
On November 2, 2000, live theater returned to the Kenworthy after a 75 year absence. Moscow Community Theaters presented "Little Shop of Horrors" complete with the original Broadway puppet, Audrey.
This article originally appeared in the February 10, 2005 issue of Pulse in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Santa Fe travel writer, John Villani, calls Moscow one of “the best 100 small arts towns in America.” Our area boasts a wide range of cultural and entertainment options that suit almost every taste. With multiple venues in Moscow and Pullman, film and theatre buffs have a lot from which to choose. The Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in downtown Moscow provides many different options. Here are five reasons why you should you go to the Kenworthy.
Reason number 1: Your parents or grandparents may have met at the Kenworthy. The Kenworthy is an historic theater that opened to the public in 1926. The theater was donated to Moscow Community Theatre by the Kenworthy Family in 1999 and has been operated by KPAC, Inc. since January 2000. A Moscow landmark, the Kenworthy Theater’s history spans over three-quarters of a century and includes vaudeville, silent films, theatre, and modern productions. The art deco neon lights on the auditorium ceiling are beautiful reminders of a bygone era and the hundreds of thousands of people who have enjoyed the Kenworthy over the years.
Reason number 2: The Kenworthy is downtown. There are several dozen different places nearby to stop, shop, eat and drink, including bookstores, art galleries, coffee houses, and cafes where you can catch anything from a cappuccino to Kung Pao before or after a Kenworthy event. Within three blocks of the Kenworthy Theater you can get some cash at an ATM, a copy of The New York Times, a card and flowers for your friend’s birthday, a souvenir for your out of town guests, and a mountain bicycle to get you back home. The Kenworthy has the biggest, brightest marquee on Main Street and at night the lighted trees evoke feelings of warmth and romance.
Reason number 3: The Kenworthy is community owned and managed. The members of our Board of Directors are your friends, neighbors, and business partners. They are realtors, entrepreneurs, educators, and musicians. They represent a broad spectrum of life and work in our community and they have in common the wish and will to preserve something of value. The Kenworthy is a not-for-profit organization—that means that all its revenues go back into programming and building restoration. With the support of local businesses and loyal patrons, the Kenworthy has enlarged and renovated its theatrical stage and installed professional sound and lighting systems.
Reason number 4: The Kenworthy provides fun and inexpensive entertainment. The Kenworthy shows films that the other theaters don’t and hosts a myriad of events including concerts, lectures, and theatrical performances. The Kenworthy hosts a summer matinee movie series when children’s admission is just $3. Popcorn is $2 everyday, and a family of four can see a movie for less than $15. The Kenworthy really does offer something for everyone.
Reason number 5: The Kenworthy Film Society (KFS). The Kenworthy Film Society was established in September 2002 to bring films, including "indies" (independent), foreign, and documentary films that would otherwise not be shown on the Palouse on the big screen. KFS passes are good for 10 film visits and will be punched for each visit. It is non-refundable but transferable paper card.
Come join everyone at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre. You’ll be helping to preserve the historic downtown district. You’ll be supporting independent filmmakers and community theatre. You’ll be a part of a vibrant arts community at the very heart of town.
The Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, Inc. (KPAC). KPAC can be reached by contacting its executive director, Christine Cavanaugh, at 208 882 4127 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2009, All Rights Reserved, Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, Inc.
Last update: 6/30/2011