Raymond Theater

History of the Raymond Theater

The Raymond Theater is a testament to survival and an historical gem gracing this rural community at the mouth of the Willapa River

When Asef G. Basil arrived in Raymond with a new bride, he joined his mother in the operation of the town's only dry goods store. With a vision for the future, Basil enthusiastically entered into the community's activities. In 1928, he built the beautiful terra-cotta and concrete theater which currently shows feature films and presents live performances.

The theater opened on October 11, 1928. Opening night featured the silent movie The Jazz Singer accompanied by Miss Lavern Little of Seattle on a Hope-Jones Wurlitzer organ. History has it that someone unknown removed the organ from the premises with out the Basil family's permission, eventually selling it to Alden Bice, an organist who toured the country billed as The Ol' Jazz Tuner.

When Bice died in 1987, the executors of his estate returned the organ to its original home. February 12, 1994, marked the triumphant rededication of this grand organ with Andy Crow of Olympia presiding at the keyboard as a silent movie rolled across the screen.

The historic theater has been completely restored to its former state of elegance along with improvements including a Dolby sound system, a wide screen and new, comfortable seats.

Today, the Raymond Theater is a popular movie house and performing arts venue in north Pacific County. It is home to Sunday Afternoon Live, which sponsors live performances during the fall and winter.

Under the direction of Rick Gauger, the 50-plus voice Willapa Harbor Chorale performs a Christmas concert and a spring concert at the theater.

Be sure to check our Events Listings for a complete schedule of upcoming events. If you're interested in renting the venue for a private or public event, please give us a call or visit the Contact Page and send an e-mail.