If you have ever attended a concert at the D and R Theatre you already know that it’s a great venue for concerts not only because of its s size and excellent acoustics, but the location makes it a simple traffic free journey and parking is FREE, close and abundant. But if you haven’t yet attended a concert, then you will surely be captivated when you enter our historical theatre. The D and R Theatre has been described as one of the “Finest musical venues to witness a show in the Northwest”. It’s like stepping back in time. The theater has been a part of the Aberdeen and Grays Harbor history since 1923.
The D & R Theatre was built in 1923/24 by Ed Dolan, hence the “D” in D & R. The original decoration was Adam in style, with delicate plaster ornamentation and crystal chandeliers. The auditorium held 5 large chandeliers and 8 boxes, 4 on either side of the balcony. The walls were decorated with Northwest logging and forest murals. The original seating capacity was 1500. There is a large stage and 2 floors of dressing rooms. There was also a large pipe organ that accompanied the silent films. Vaudeville was the original main entertainment at the D & R. The lobby had 2 large chandeliers and more murals with wicker furniture on the mezzanine level. The original exterior had a metal cornice on the top of the building, a simpler marquee, and a box office built into the lobby between the entrance doors.
The original box office was on the outside of the theatre but was built into the wall between the entrance doors. The current box office is actually the 3rd one to grace the theatre. The current marquee is also the 3rd one. The original was quite simple, but there was a verticle blade sign running down the front of the building and there were no verticle stripes on the front.
During the 1930’s the theatre was remodeled, all the boxes were removed, the plaster ornamentation was reduced and the whole building in and out was painted. The marquee was replaced and the verticle stripes seen on the outside today were added. During the 1940’s the seating was replaced on the main floor. The whole interior and exterior was again re-painted and the marquee was again replaced with the one that appears today. The box office was also replaced with the current free standing one we see today.
Nothing much happened with the theatre after that, except lobby paint, up to the closing in the 1980’s.
Since its restoration in 2009 by John and Chris Yonich, the theatre has once again come to life entertaining its guests with great performances from over 80 famous big named acts, many of which have been Grammy Award winners.Maybe you recognize or have been lucky enough to have seen some of these famous names that have performed at the D and R Theatre.