Perfecting a Palace: New amenities with theater’s reopening

May 2021 Posted in Community, Food & Drink, People

By Melissa Wagoner

Erik and Rachelle Gonterman, owners of the Silverton Palace Theater, with granddaughter, Vivianna, in front of the new refreshment counter

Erik and Rachelle Gonterman, owners of the Silverton Palace Theater, with granddaughter, Vivianna, in front of the new refreshment counter

There’s never been a better time to go to the theater – at least according to Rachelle Gonterman – manager of the Silverton Palace Theater.

“COVID has everybody tired of being cooped up at home,” she said. “But a lot of people don’t know we’re open.”

Taking over the theater in October 2020, Rachelle and her husband, Erik, had yet to show a single movie until April 9 when they screened The Croods: A New Age as their grand opening feature.

“The feedback we’ve gotten is really positive,” Rachelle said. Noting that for the past four months she and Erik have worked seven days a week renovating the space with fresh paint and a completely new candy store themed snack bar.

“I was just Googling 1934, and in that period the candy store was a huge thing and it was combined with theaters,” Rachelle said.

She added that, whenever possible she and Erik are attempting to stick to the retro-theme both in décor and in function.

“We’ve got a lot of ideas,” she added.

Theatergoers may notice the addition of a stage. It will function as a home for dance recitals, stand-up comedy and live music. It is already under construction thanks to a grant from the City of Silverton. The Gontermans are also planning to upgrade the seating, too.

“We want people to be comfortable,” Rachelle said. She noted that eventually she also hopes to serve beer and wine as well as food.

“We’re taking every other row out and putting in tables.”

In the meantime, with the seemingly ever-changing COVID restrictions, the Gontermans are simply doing their best to keep the doors open.

“We’re not eligible for any grants,” Rachelle said. “And it’s hard because the bills don’t stop.”

So, the couple has gotten creative, showing movies – often four times a day when an audience is allowed – and opening the candy store for the sale of popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy when it is not.

“We’ve got hope,” Rachelle said. “Because we just love Silverton. It’s one of the last small towns left where you have a real sense of community.”

Silverton Palace Theater

200 North Water St., Silverton Facebook.com/SilvertonPalaceTheater 503-874-4006

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