Courtesy of the Wayne Theatre
Bicknell Theater11 East Main Street
Bicknell, Utah, 84715
(1947 - Present)
The Wayne Theatre is the only theater in Wayne County, Utah; and
Bicknell is thought to be the smallest town in the United States with
an operating movie theater. Bicknell has a population of 325 and the
theater seats 306. The Wayne opens for 8 P.M. showings on Thursday,
Friday, and Saturday. It also hosts the Bicknell International Film
Festival every year on the weekend closest to Pioneer Day.
theatre, built in 1947, was constructed from rough-cut 12"x8" pine logs
from nearby Boulder Mountain, cement, and stucco. Its design is based
on the International and Art Moderne Style of the late 1930s, giving
the theatre its streamlined, industrial look. The auditorium, large by
today's mega-plex standards, seats over 300 people and measures 75' by
40' with a small-but-effective lobby.
The theatre was originally
named the Ellett Theatre, after its first owners, Mable and James
Ellett. The Ellett was half of two theatres they owned in Wayne
County, Utah. The other theatre, the Loa Theatre, was demolished in
2003 and a new hardware store was constructed where it once stood.
about 1959, Mr. Ellett had to move out of the county and the theatre
was operated by Maida and John Giles until 1964. Hilma and Stanley
Brinkerhoff and their family bought the theatre in 1967 and changed the
name to the Wayne Theatre, after Wayne County, Utah. They operated and
repaired the theatre until 1994, when it was purchased by Nanette and
James S. Anderson.
The Andersons brought the Wayne Theatre up to
date technologically, adding a new state-of-the-art JBL surround sound
system, new amplification, new projector and lenses as well as a new
heating and air-conditioning system. This little theatre in the 'middle
of nowhere' now rivals any big-city theatre in terms of the exhibition
In 1999 the Andersons received a grant from the Utah
State Historical Society to put on a 28-gauge metal roof, facia, and
soffit. This will help ensure the structural integrity of the theatre
for decades to come. Many thanks to them!
The latest upgrade to
the Wayne Theatre came in 2003 in the form of reupholstering all 306
seats in the auditorium. The old seat cushions and backs were in good
shape cosmetically, but the cotton padding in them had pretty much
disintegrated. New fabric, foam cushions, and backs were installed,
leaving the original Art Deco seat frames in place. This method has
preserved the old-time feel of the auditorium while affording our
patrons a much more comfortable experience.