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Theaters and performing arts

Klamath County history is rich in theaters and performing arts – in the 1940’s there were six theaters, some for movies – some for live performances. Shoot-’em-up westerns could be seen at the Vox, Rainbow, and Pine Tree theaters and more sophisticated offerings were shown at the elegant Pelican and the then newly constructed Art Déco Esquire and suburban Tower theater. A drive-in theater was also a popular hang-out in the 1970’s. Today, Klamath Falls has one movie theater and two performing arts theaters.

Ross Ragland Theater

218 North 7th Street, Klamath Falls OR 97601 (541) 8845-483

It was a broad-based Klamath Basin community effort that turned the 1940 Art Deco styled Esquire Theater into an 800-seat state-of-the-art performing arts center. The completion of the Ross Ragland Theater heralded the renovation of the Klamath Falls downtown area, encouraged the use of renewable energy by extending the city’s geothermal line and, above all, revived community interest in the performing arts. Today, the Ross Ragland Theater and Cultural Center serves, educates and inspires more than 100,000 people annually.

The Ross Ragland Theater is a year-round, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary arts center serving Southern Oregon and Northern California. The theater, with near-perfect sight lines and acoustics, provides the perfect venue for a wide array of touring performing artists as well as local productions.

The theater’s namesake, Ross Ragland, was a prominent local civic leader and champion of the arts. Mr. Ragland, the theater renovation campaign chairman, died in 1987 before the theater’s completion. The project leaders quickly moved to name the theater in honor of his memory and service.

Since 1989, the theater has operated as a privately owned not-for-profit corporation with continued support from public and private sources.

One of the theater’s most successful programs has been its Outreach and Education program. The program provides curriculum-based cultural experiences to school children in the four-county region. Annually, more than 10,000 children benefit from educational programming at the theater. The Ross Ragland Theater hosts student matinees and workshops with renowned artists, summer arts classes and a teen theater program for underserved youth. Additionally, the Access Program for Low Income Youth and Families ensures equal access to the arts by providing free or reduced tickets and tuition.

The Linkville Playhouse

201 Main Street, Klamath Falls OR 97601

The Linkville Players is the oldest community theater group in the Klamath Basin and is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization devoted to presenting an annual season of dramatic productions for the benefit and enjoyment of local residents, visitors and others interested in theater.

Together with its predecessor organizations, the Pelican Players and the Klamath Civic Theatre, the Linkville has been presenting amateur theatrical productions for more than 50 years and is recognized for the depth, variety and quality of its presentations.

It is also known for the “up close and personal” theater experience it offers since audience members are only a few feet away from the actors on the stage.

The Linkville also serves as a forum for teaching theater basics and production techniques to anyone interested in volunteering to work in the theater, whether onstage or off, and seeks to foster a continuing interest in the per-forming arts among members of its audience as well as among those involved in its theater productions.

There are 83 seats in the auditorium of the Linkville Playhouse, including 63 orchestra seats and 20 loge seats, plus 35 seats in the balcony, making the total seating capacity 118. The stage is a comfortable 35 feet wide by 24 feet deep.

Over its 50 year history, the Linkville has presented more than 300 productions. If comedies are king, then mysteries are the queen of theatre. Comedies account for more than 50% of productions at the Linkville.

Tickets are available for purchase at Periwinkle Home located at 831 Main Street, Klamath Falls. You can also call for more information and to check seat availability, 541.205.4395.