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The Rogue Theatre opened its doors in 1938 as one of the few theaters built during the heart of the Great Depression. Crowds filled her seats to watch Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, and Marlene Dietrich on the silver screen. News Reels brought home the battlefront during the "Big War." Through the fabulous 50's, and the turbulent 60's the theatre attracted crowds to downtown Grants Pass. As years passed, the advent of television, multiplex cinemas and shopping malls made it difficult for the aging theatre to compete. Closing it's doors in 1999
In 2000, the Rogue Theatre was reopened as a regional non-profit performing arts center. Complete with state-of-the-art sound and lighting. The Rogue is now capable of hosting a wide range of arts and cultural events, including theater, concerts, dance and film presentations.
The Rogue Theatre is one of Grants Pass’ most prominent historical buildings. The Art Deco exterior and glowing neon marquee add to the warmth and charm of the city’s historical district. It has been recognized as both an important statewide and national historic resource. The ongoing restoration the theatre with the generosity of The Carpenter Foundation and the Myers Trust, as well as local patrons, has preserved one of the city’s few remaining landmark buildings.
Working with Southern Oregon University, Jefferson Public Radio as well as other Arts groups, The Rogue helps bring events that may not otherwise have been offered in our region. Over the course of several seasons, music fans have seen such top names as B.B. King, John Hiatt, Robert Cray, Kris Kristofferson, and Taj Mahal, as well as newer names like Los Lonely Boys, Nicklecreek, Jackie Greene, The Devil Makes Three and Queensryche.
The Rogue Theatre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and National Historic Landmark. The theatre is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors whose mission is to operate a multipurpose performance facility that brings affordable cultural opportunities to Southern Oregon.
Past Seasons have featured Robert Cray, Eddie Money, Kris Kristofferson, academy award winner Billy Bob Thornton and others. 2008 started with a bang! Blues Foundation Hall of Famer and world renowned King of the Blues B.B. King performed for a sell out crowd on the Rogue's historic stage. Later that year, The Vienna Boys Choir, rock legends Robin Trower, Johnny Winter, and Ray Manzarek played to a packed house. In the Fall, comic legends The Smothers Brothers made audiences laugh until they cried.
The 2009 Season is shaping up to be another great year of Rock, Jazz, Blues, Celtic and music that breaks all boundaries, theatre and events. Join us at one of Southern Oregon's premier venues for the Performing Arts.
In hundreds of cities across the nation, the development of historic theatres has produced enormous economic benefits for downtown districts -- bringing people back downtown, expanding downtown activity after 5pm and stimulating the growth of restaurants and other businesses supporting the activities of the theatre. Restoring the Rogue Theatre has been identified as a central component of revitalizing Grants Pass’ historic downtown. The Rogue Theatre supports economic development efforts currently underway in this region and also serves as a catalyst for future economic revitalization.
In 1938, the year the Rogue first opened, the theatre was a beacon of the American Spirit. In its heyday, the Rogue offered Rogue Valley residents a place to escape from the daily struggle of life during the depression, a place to experience the wonders of the latest cinema technology and a place for the community to come together – for first dates, birthdays and community celebrations.
Today, the Theatre is still a special place in the hearts and minds of Rogue Valley citizens; special to both longtime residents and newcomers alike because it stands as a proud symbol of Southern Oregon’s history, serves as a powerful catalyst for downtown economic revitalization and provides a venue for a diverse array of arts and cultural events that celebrate the human spirit, bringing people of all ages together to be entertained and inspired.