Whiteside Theatre is Keeping the Lights on for the Community

On April 1, the Whiteside Theatre reopened to the public with a showing of Weird Al’s UHF to a crowd of about 30 people. The crowd may have been small, but that didn’t stop Executive Director Jen Waters.  

“People weren’t ready to be indoors with others,” said Waters. “We just wanted to leave the lights on for folx in our community.” 

As COVID restrictions continue to lift, the Whiteside can seat 400 people, half its total possible seating. This is great news because audience turn out for the movies has been good.  

“People are going to be hungry for entertainment coming out of this,” said Waters. “We’ve got a leg up on TV at the moment because people are somewhat burnt out on in-home programming — they want to be out.”  

Community response to the Whiteside’s comeback has been positive.   

“People seem really excited about the summer movies we’re showing,” Waters said. “We’re also trying to support local groups with a series of fundraiser movies.” 

For Pride Month, the Whiteside showed Paris is Burning and gave a part of the proceeds to The Mid-Valley Trans Network. “Next month we’ll be showing Cats (yes, that Cats) and fundraising for the local animal shelter.”  

Besides movies, Waters plans on holding two live events at the Whiteside, both in July. The first is a Flamenco dance show and the second is a Celtic dance show. On Labor Day Weekend they will be participating in the Corvallis Music Fest along with Common Fields and Bombs Away.  

In fall, we really start to ramp up and we’ve got a ton of programming in October which is our busiest month,” said Waters. The Whiteside will also be hosting a VERY big holiday show on December 9th, but we’re not allowed to say who yet.” 

In the meantime, the Whiteside will continue Wednesday movie night. Check out their website for showing info. 

By Jalen Todd