Remodeled Romance Theater ready to welcome the public - East Idaho News
Arts & Entertainment

Remodeled Romance Theater ready to welcome the public

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REXBURG — The Romance Theater in Rexburg is undergoing an extensive remodeling process. Now the public can come in and check out the new interior spaces.

The theater has gone through several previous remodels, changing its decor and aesthetic to fit with the current times. The latest changes open up the lobby space, bring more light into the interior and improve the concessions area and bathrooms.

“(The goal) was to make the theater more flexible for use,” Rexburg Cultural Arts Director Jed Platt told “Now we’re able to host so many additional functions that we weren’t able to previously due to space restrictions and to update and improve a few mechanical systems and to make a beautiful space.”

The renovations included giving the lobby a facelift that’s reminiscent of a previous architectural era.

“The theater was originally built in 1917,” said Platt. “The style at the time was an Art Nouveau style. You’ll see evidence of that in the auditorium now that we’ve been working on bringing back those decorative elements.”

About twenty years later, the theater’s then-owner decided its style was a bit dated and updated it to a newer, more streamlined Art Deco aesthetic.

Jed platt
Jed Platt. | Adam Forsgren,

“We tried to harken back to that era of a more Art Deco-inspired style for the lobby space,” Platt said.

The ceiling has been vaulted and the concessions area relocated, allowing the large windows facing Main Street to be opened up and creating a much more bright, inviting space. In addition, new bathrooms have been installed in the basement of the theater along with a handicapped-accessible bathroom in the lobby.

With more open space, the lobby is now able to be a multi-purpose room. It can serve as a reception area for events at the theater, as well as space for people to hang out or study in. People can come to relax and even view the work of local artists which adorn the lobby walls.

“We’ll be making (the theater) available during the week as a place where people can come, a kind of welcome center for our community, to welcome people to our community,” said Platt. “They can learn what’s going on in our community. We’ll have live music and a gift shop here. So we’ve added a venue to our community that’s been here all the time.”

Along with serving as a reception/events venue, The Romance will host numerous events. These include the monthly Art Stroll, where people can visit a number of galleries on Main Street, Extended Play Cinema screenings of classic movies with related fun interactive activities, as well as concerts, stage shows and much more. Visit Rexburg Arts on Facebook to keep up on planned events.

new consessions
Adam Forsgren,

While much about the theater has changed, Platt said there are still plenty of improvements to come.

“Our next phase is to do backstage,” he said. “We’ll be renovating the dressing rooms, the green room space and those facilities. Then we’re going to circle back to the auditorium and finish that phase with new flooring, seating and lighting. Then, we just received a grant to build an outdoor stage onto the Romance Theater out into the Center Street Plaza.”

Platt said Rexburg Arts is excited to not only have the facility at its disposal but also to help increase its importance as a cultural hub in the community.

“We call ourselves ‘The Heartbeat of Rexburg,’” he said. “We’re at the corner of Center and Main Street. So this is the hub for what’s going on in Rexburg and this is our arts corridor. We do a lot of programming between here and the Tabernacle and we’re looking to expand out. So we encourage the community to get involved with arts in Rexburg, to find out what’s going on and to let us know what they’d like to see.”

New lobby
Adam Forsgren,

Thanks to Fat Cats in Rexburg for providing screenings for movie reviews on