Housed in the iconic building that sits on Ash Street, The Pearl Theater has been a delight to many over the years. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Pearl Theater first opened its doors in October of 2011 under private management. But those involved wanted to find a way to better serve the demands that came with a performing arts facility and decided to pursue becoming a nonprofit organization. That process was completed in late 2012, and its mission of fostering the performing arts throughout Boundary County for the education, entertainment and inspiration of the community has been thriving since.
Adding to its charm is the unique history of the building that The Pearl Theater calls home. Originally built in 1894, the building was initially a Roman Catholic Church. Since that time, the dwelling has provided a place of worship for several different church groups.
“When the transformation into what we now know as The Pearl occurred, the many years of worship, fellowship and social presence of well over 100 years remained with the walls of the building,” said Dottie Gray, the newest board member.
Thanks to the vision and perseverance of Honorary Founding Member Carolyn Testa, the 1,250-square-foot building underwent a complete overhaul in its transition to a performance space. The stunning renovation includes main floor seating, a balcony, and cafe seating with tall tables next to a commercial kitchen that serves beer, wine, coffee, snack plates, savory baked goods and sweets.
“With a capacity limited to 157 people, the relationship between audience and performer is a uniquely familiar one; add to this the great acoustics from the Pearl's high-arched ceiling—and the nearby train sometimes passing through just 50 feet away—and the end result can at times feel almost magical,” said Ginny Kirsch, founding board member, administrative assistant and volunteer.
In addition to providing a unique and classy venue for performing arts, The Pearl Theater also hosts marriage ceremonies, social events and other occasions both formal and casual.
“We provide an outlet for emerging artists during Open Mic nights once a month, and an outlet for artists to meet other artists during Performers Circle,” said Treasurer Denise Crichton, adding that both events are free and open to the public.
Each month The Pearl Theater’s board of directors strives to put on events that will attract a variety of age groups and music and artistic tastes, ensuring that it is truly a community theater. However, all of this would not be possible without the dedication of those who work diligently to further The Pearl Theater’s purpose and to provide the community with quality entertainment and artistic expression.
The board of directors is comprised of an eclectic group of individuals; some have lived here for almost all of their lives while others came to the area more recently and were eager to share their love of the arts with their new community.
“We are always open to new ideas, and we encourage people to become involved in their community theater, whether through attendance at shows, membership, volunteering or facility upkeep,” said Board President Rhea Verbanic.
“This community’s response to the programming at the Pearl is one of the most satisfying pieces in the success of the theater. Sharing performances draws diverse groups of people together with shared experiences,” said Secretary Valerie Thompson.
The Pearl is a beautiful and intimate venue to rent, whether it’s for a wedding, a reception, a party, family reunion, a fundraiser or a fashion show. Please call The Pearl Theater at 208.610.2846 for additional information, prices and availability.
The Pearl Theater
7160 Ash St.
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805