Join the Weston County Historic Preservation Commission on May 4th at their Movies and Movie Theaters of the Past Panel at the Weston County Senior Center in the Michael Room at 2pm. Then again on May 11th, continue the celebration with the owner of the Dogie theater with a free matinee of The African Queen with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.
Shorty Cleveland and her husband. Ora, were the owners of the Castle Theater. In March 1950, Shorty decided to build a new theater across the street. In August of that year, as the building was going up, Shorty sold it to Black Hills Amusement of Rapid City. The new Dogie Theatre was state of the art in every way. From the front to the back was new, modern and with a western theme. It was a truly new design in buildings. It was dedicated on March 21, 1951. The first movie was “Two Weeks With Love,” starring Jane Powell and Ricardo Montalban.
The first manager was Ross Campbell, he was the manager until 1953. Fred Wade then took the management until 1955, then Fay Boyd took over.
A new and larger screen was installed in 1963, it was 15 x 33 feet, 4 feet higher and 8 feet wider than the original. There were several managers in this time. In 1965, Black Hills Amusement sold the Dogie Theatre to Commonwealth Theaters of Kansas City, MO. Then in 1986, the theater was sold to Gerald and Judy Bullard. The Bullards hosted a reenactment of the Dogie Theatre grand opening on March 24, 2001, to celebrate 50 years of business, playing the same show as the original night. Bullard’s still own the theater and long-time managers, Bill and Shirley Nelson are managing the theater.