The Lux Theater - 1911
New Build in 1948 - Our Current Location - 615 9th Street
Information From the Book - "The Best Of Humboldt"Submitted by Hilda M. Bailey
Frank George Bailey was born in Worcester, England, in 1874, and his wife Essie (Lack) Bailey was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1872. Theie eldest son, Fred, was born in New Zealand in 1892, their son George in Brandon, Manitoba in 1904, and their only daughter Essie (Forster) in Regina, Sk in 1909. Both Frank and his wife were first-rate musicians and taught music in New Zealand. They immigrated to Canada in the early 1900's. Settling first in Brandon, Manitoba, then from Brandon they moved to Regina, Saskatchewan where he and his wife worked while both played in the Regina Symphony Orchestra, and Mrs Bailey served as the club's president. Music was their avocation. Frank was a violinist and his wife a pianist and an equally good violinist. Frank was fascinated with the motion picture business and eventually he opened a movie theater in Regina. He sold this in 1911 and moved to Humboldt where he built the Lux Theater; the theater he operated until his death in 1953. Mrs Bailey took keen interest in music throughout her life, and during "silent picture" days, supplied the musical background for all the movies.
Talkies at Lux Theater- Management announcement that talking motion pictures are to be installed in the theater. Mr. Bailey visited Regina, Winnipeg and Radville, for the purpose of inspecting talking picture equipment. As a result he finally purchased the latest talking machines on the market, and the machines are now on their way from New York to Humboldt. The engineer of the firm from which the machines were purchased will be in Humboldt shortly to superintend the installation and direct any alterations in the theater that may be necessary. This old established place of entertainment is to be congratulated on taking this step to keep abreast of the times, and to give the patrons of the theater the very best entertainment that is possible to procure. Following the installation of the talking motion pictures it will not be necessary for people of Humboldt and district to journey many miles to hear this wonderful new form of entertainment, it will be right here at their very door. July 18, 1929.
Bob, Bing and Boris send congratulations...
The new Lux theatre was opened to the public this week, although the official opening will not be until Sat, Feb 28. As a test run Monday night Mayor E.A Levins congratulated Mr. G.B Bailey on the opening of the theatre which he said was a real credit to Humboldt and a building which Humboldt could truly be proud of. In no other town of comparable or even larger size would you find a finer building and better equipped theatre.
Mayor Levins read to the audience, which consisted of people who had been employed in the construction of the theatre, telegrams of congratulations received from Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. A telegram was also received from Boris Karloff.
The theatre opened Tuesday night with regular shows. Plans are being made to have the A.T.C. Amateur Hour Broadcast from the stage of the Lux theatre on Saturday, February 28, 1948. This will be the official opening of which there will be further announcements. - February 12, 1948.
Information From the Book - "100 Interesting Stories About Humboldt"The Lux Theatre
Situated on the west side of the 600 block of 9th Street, the Lux Theater offered both live entertainment and films. Live acts such as bands and comedians visited the Lux Theater. The theatre had quite a prestigious act on at least one occasion. During WW1 Charlie Chaplin went on tour of North America. He performed at the Lux Theater on Sept 24th and 25th, 1915.
In 1927 "The Jazz Singer" was the first talking picture, and people were eager to experience this new technology. Frank Bailey travelled to Winnipeg in 1929 to investigate this new sound equipment and ordered the latest talking machines from New York City.
Upon his return from the service in 1945, Fred and Essie's son, George, worked alongside his parents in the theater. In 1948 the Bailey family built a new building just north of the original building to 615 9th Street. The auditorium had a seating capacity of 490 and a large stage for other types of performances. The second floor included an office, projection room and a suite of rooms for Mr Bailey. There was also a soundproof room for ladies with babies. George inherited the business in 1953 when his father passed away. During the 1950's George spent most of his time at the theater because there were two shows per night. Many people went to the movies a few times each week especially on opening night of a new movie. Employees at the theater included the ticket seller, usher, popcorn girl and ticket taker. Veronica Dagenais, popcorn girl from 1956-1958, considered the theater a great place for a teenager to work. Popcorn was sold in a cardboard box, one size only, for 10 cents.
The advent of television had a negative effect on the theater business which resulted in lower attendance. Bailey sold the Lux Theater to John Dobni of Kindersley, SK in 1960 with Paul Skulski appointed as manager.
Bernard Besenski purchased the theater in 1977, and the name of the theater changed to the Golden West Cinema.
Golden West Cinema
Includes a New Drive-In Built in 1952
Information From the Books "The Best Of Humboldt" and "100 Interesting Stories About Humboldt"
Construction started on a drive-in theater for Humboldt. Location a mile west of town on Highway No. 5, just opposite the Lawrence Keller farm. Owners of the new enterprise are R.H. "Duffie" Besenski and his father Steve Besenski. The drive-in theater will be known as the Golden West and estimated cost of erection has been placed at $32,000. October 23, 1952.
Golden West had the most up-to-date equipment to project a movie onto the 50 by 56 foot screen. The viewing area could accommodate 300 cars.
Golden West Drive-In opened on June 27, 1953 under the co-management of Steve and Rudolph "Duffy" Besenski. The grand opening feature presentation was "Meet Me After the Show" starring Dan Dailey. The admission was 25 cents.
Attached to the projection booth was a full concession stand offering a variety of snacks such as hotdogs, corn-on-the-cob, ice cream, soft drinks and of course popcorn. They also provided a baby bottle warming service. An additional 30 seats inside the booth provided viewing for those who walked to the show. One feature movie was shown per night. Entertainment laws restricted movies on Sundays, so these shows began at one min after midnight.
In 1964 Duffy purchased Steve Besenski's share and later that year, Duffy sold it to Bernard Besenski. Bernhard started showing double features and switched the audio component from car speakers to Channel 1610 radio frequency. Bernhard also introduced the dusk to dawn events which featured four movies in one evening, usually on a long weekend. These became a classis summer event for many Humboldt and area teenagers.
Russell Besenski - Returning to Humboldt with his wife Sandra from Saskatoon in 1977, Russell was part owner with his father Bernard in the Golden West Drive-In and Cinema.
The Drive In closed in the early 1990's.
Rebranding to Reel Attractions Cinema & Video June 2007 - June 2014
Owners - Dudley & Laurie Warford/Brian & Shari Wormald
Installed Updated Seating in Theater #2
Created Mini DVD theater and Party Room upstairs; complete with kitchen.
2 X New 20' theater screens with Digital Projection and Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound
Installed Spring 2013 (5 year lease)
New Owners - Mike & Shannon Yager
June 3, 2014
Theater Updates - Present
2015 - Air Conditioning Installed for Lobby
2015 - New High Efficiency Furnace x 3 and Water Heater
2016 - New Lobby Flooring/Fixtures & 2 New Sets of Exterior Doors
2016 - Full Lobby Painted and Installed New Custom Built Concession Counter
2016 - New Ice Machine Installed for New Fountain with Ice Dispenser
2016 - New Asphalt Front of Building
2016 - New 3-Bowl Slush Machine
2017 - Repaired and Refaced Front of Building
2017 - Updated Seats and Increased Seating Capacity in Lux Theater - #1 (70 to 99)
2017 - Added Additional Surround Sound Speakers Lux Theater - #1
2018 - Painted Exterior of Building
2018 - Installed New LED Lighting in Full Lobby and Exterior
2018 - New Commercial Popcorn Machine
2019 - Replaced Ceiling Tiles in Full Lobby
2020 - Updated Carpets in Both Theaters & New Box Office Flooring
2020 - Installed Digital Box Office/Concession Menu Boards
2020 - Installed CineSend - Provides delivery of electronic digital cinema packages (DCP)
2021 - Full Washroom Renovation - Ladies, Men's, and Family Room.
2021 - New Reel Attractions Carpets for Lobby
2021 - New Facing of Outdoor Marquee
Full Washroom Renovation - June 2021
Janitorial Closet with Floor Sink
Writer and Director of Brotherhood - Richard Bell - Visits Reel Attractions. Oct 2021
Copy and paste the link below to your browser to read the story by Devan C. Tasa of the Humboldt Journal Oct 2021
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