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MEEKER — After reading my recent “whatever happened to the Rio Theater?” historical column, Bernie Gantt had an answer. He told the tale of a house that one could say the movie theatre built. The call he left on my voice mail pinpointed the theater’s fate. “I’m standing in it!” he said, “It was hauled up to the top of Eighth Street and set up by the Overtons, in like, 1981. It is now half of my house.”
Apparently, the common assumption that it was demolished was erroneous. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, houses from Wilson Creek were moved and added on to many residences. It shouldn’t be surprising, that even in the days before recycling was the big thing, previously-used materials built the foundation of many businesses and residences.
Whenever someone says, “Whatever happened to?” a place or event in the valley, this example should come to mind. A closer look at many of the existing structures in the community today might provide us with the story of an old familiar one from days gone by. The use of the movie theater to provide more space for a family today seems fitting, as an evening spent in the old movie house seemed like a “home away from home” for many.