by Sarah Stuart
One of the most well-known landmarks in Weiser is the Star Theater on State Street. Built in 1917, many Weiser residents, past and present, have fond memories in the theater. It is also has the honor of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Star became the home of the Illustrious Onion Skin Players in 1997 and it is this organization that has taken on the task of restoring it to its former glory. Since OSP have been in the theater, they have replaced the roof, replaced the old coal furnace with a gas one, rewired the aisle lights, and fixed the ceiling as needed.
The marquee was replaced in the 1940's with the Art Deco one that locals have come to know and love. In July 2017, the restoration of the marquee began when the marquee was damaged. The letters of the marquee also needed an update. The old letters were brittle and very difficult to replace if broken. The Onion Skin Players fixed the marquee, replaced the old letters with modern ones, and painted the marquee with original paint colors.
The seats in the theater also needed to be replaced. They were old and uncomfortable. A member of the Onion Skin Players noticed that The Reel Theater in Ontario were replacing their seating, inquired as to what they were doing with the old seats, and found out they were just planning on throwing them out. It was arranged that the Onion Skin Players could have the seating for free as long as they transported and stored them. The Onion Skin Players had a couple of crews transport them into storage containers and are currently working on cleaning and installing them.
The old seats are being sold by the Onion Skin Players for $100 a set. They also plan on keeping some in the theater lobby for nostalgic purposes. Seats are available by calling Tracy at (208) 550-5685.
What’s next for the Star Theater? The Onion Skin Players are hoping to paint the whole front of the building soon. They are also hoping to have all the new seating installed by September so they can be ready for their Spooktacular in October.