Lincoln Theatre on Auction Block ? Mount Vernon, WA

lincoln-theatre1.jpgThe City of Mount Vernon is considering putting the historic Lincoln Theatre up for sale. For more info about the theatre visit the Lincoln Theatre Website. Please make your voice heard at the next Mount Vernon City Council Meeting on Wednesday, July 26th 7pm – The Mount Vernon City Council meets twice a month for regular Council sessions. Meetings are held at 1805 Continental Place, 7:00 p.m. and are open to the public.

I recently relocated to Mount Vernon Washington, and two of the draws for me was the beauty of the Lincoln Theatre and McIntyre Hall. Hopefully there’s an alternative so this venue can be kept as a classic live performance venue.

Here is an email on the subject from Kate Kypuros, META Performing Arts:

Can you imagine walking into the Lincoln Theater and
visiting it as a museum instead of a forum for arts
films, live theater, music and public comment?

That is one of the things being considered as the
Mt.Vernon mayor and city council decide what to do
with this historical downtown hub.

This coming Wednesday night there is a meeting at the
Lincoln Theater in downtown Mt. Vernon. If you want
to see the Lincoln remain the center of activity in
downtown Mt. Vernon, join others to make your voice

Call the Lincoln for more particulars. I do not know
them, but I felt it was important to get the word out
asap. I hope to see you there.

lincoln_exterior-l-250.jpgThe Lincoln Theatre, a restored 1926 historic vaudeville & silent movie house in downtown Mount Vernon, presents a year-round schedule of concerts, current and classic films, and community events. The theatre works with local school districts, hosting school performances and workshops by performing artists on tour, as well as annual concerts by secondary school bands. The theatre hosts concerts by the local youth symphony, presents community-sponsored children’s theatre productions, as well as serving as a venue for fund-raising events by local service organizations. The Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation, founded in 1987, is a registered non-profit organization supported by over 2000 members from Skagit and adjoining counties.

  • Cost of Building: $100,000
  • Cost of Organ: $22,500
  • Cost of Furnishings & Equipment: $32,500
  • Weekly Payroll: $160

When the Lincoln Theatre was built, it was hailed for its originality and beauty. The Argus reported on May 13, 1926, “Nothing like it has ever been constructed before…the theatrical world is setting back astounded.”

The Lincoln is what’s called a period theater, which were in vogue around the time it was built. Some theaters built in the twenties had an Egyptian motif; one Seattle theater had a Chinese motif, but the Lincoln was a little different for the Northwest; it had a Spanish motif.

Manager Edwin Halberg ignored the pleas of his friends that he follow the crowd and make it Egyptian. He foresaw a time when movie fans would tire of such a motif. He personally designed the luxurious carpet, the decorative effect on the walls, the hangings and draperies, and the lighting effects.

The primary colors were blue, yellow, and red. The foyer was lighted with quaint, wrought-iron patterns of Spanish design. The walls have what’s known as a travertine finish.


Of the 98 Wurlitzer organs remining in their original theaters in the U.S., the Lincoln Theatre’s Wurlitzer is one of only two 2-manual, 7-rank D-2 Full Unit Orchestra models. It has a full set of organ pipes, as well as a set of ‘toys,’ the mechanical sound effects for silent movies, as well as marimbas, drums, glockenspiel, xylophone, cathedral chimes, celeste, etc., and an original Wurlitzer piano.

The Lincoln Wulitzer features seven ranks of pipes, a remote piano, and a complete sound effect system for silent films, including beats, castanets, drums, cymbals, glockenspiels, and marimbas, as well as a set of silver chimes mounted on the auditorium’s painted columns.

Much work has been done by our pool of volunteer organists and technicians to maintain and repair our musical treasure.

The console has been pulled, cleaned, and rewired; several ranks have been gone through, with new leathers and blocks installed; and the “toy box” for sound effects has been rearranged for easier access and repair. All the work has been done by dedicated volunteers, including Gene Peden, Bob Martin, and Keith Thompson.

The volunteer organists who perform before each film showing are Dusan Mrak, Jeff Fox, Gene Reden, Glen DesJardins, and Ken Fenske. Thanks to all of them for keeping the theater organ tradition alive at the Lincoln!

We are always in need of more players. If you are interested in performing at the console, give us a call and you can play the pipes!

More on the history of the Lincoln and the pipe organ:

2 thoughts on “Lincoln Theatre on Auction Block ? Mount Vernon, WA

  1. the linclon theatre is a sacred place to mt. vernon it absolutely cannot be sold, it brings people from all over, we eat downtown and go there for movies and concerts I’ve lived in mt. vernon all my life it is a beautiful place. Ken cheney

  2. I have lived here my entire life as well.
    I’m incredibly disappointed in the management of this great are I’ve been fortunate to grow up in. It’s time we as a community draw a line in the sand. Enough is enough theres to much development soon everything that makes this place beautiful will be gone.

    We will be left with poorly built condos and houses with underfunded city services schools and parks.
    A developer who bought the old canary by the bridge when I was doing work there told me. He sees this place as a urban getaway for people from out of state and Seattle.

    If we don’t do something we will be priced out of our houses development will happen and everything we love will be gone to expensive or private property
    With them expanding the air port in bayview to Handel business class jets.
    And some of the questionable people that are on the boards for future planning and development we are already in alot of trouble

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