Troy Theater/Opera House

$ 190,000
Last Updated:
Contact Agent
Contact nameDavid P. Egolf
Contact phone208-301-8436
Year built1913
StatusProject - needs work
Home area4,250 sqft


Troy Theater is a movie/ opera house on Main Street in downtown Troy, Idaho. It is part of Troy’s historic district that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. It occupies all of the eastern-most 1/3 of a two-story brick building (ca 1913) that originally housed a department store. In 1944 the space was purchased by a US soldier, returning from WWII, who repurposed it as a movie theater with seating for 175 movie-goers. He later sold it to another returning WWII veteran: an ex-German soldier with a prosthetic leg. It has the layout of a movie house typical of that era: main floor, balcony, stage, sound system, projection booth, projectors, and a crying room. The space also comprises a second-floor two-bedroom apartment immediately behind the stage where the owner lived with his family. In 1959, coming on the heels of the television era, the owner repurposed it as an opera house and night club by adding a commercial kitchen, two bars, tables and over-stuffed booths for seating, and a walk-in beer cooler. In 1998 the space was again repurposed, this time as a dinner theater by a later owner. The current owner purchased it in 2000, and then initiated a $150,000 renovation that included installation of a new membrane roof, tuck-pointing and painting the perimeter brick walls, replacing water-damaged structural support beams beneath the stage, and removing hazardous materials. All historic artifacts and features of the original theater and its owners have been carefully preserved. These include stage lights, art-deco theater lights, vintage projectors, tool kits for projector repair and film splicing, one or two vintage films, film reels, numerous historic photos, rolls of tickets for 1940’s and 50’s films, vintage photos, etc. The new owner’s intent was to return the space to its original designation as Troy’s only venue for movies, plays, and live music. Unfortunately, midway through this project, the owner was diagnosed with a debilitating illness and could no longer participate in the restoration, so is offering it for sale. The building is structurally sound and has a good roof. The space is bare inside, waiting for a new owner to add his or her finishing touches.

Troy, Idaho is a small mountain town (pop. 874) in the pine trees just 13 miles from the University of Idaho in Moscow and 22 miles from Washington State University in Pullman, having a combined student population of over 40,000. These three communities are serviced by the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, and are linked by state highway 8 and a 30-mile paved bicycle trail. However, better airline connections can sometimes be had by commuting via car or shuttle bus to either the Lewiston-Nez Perce Regional Airport in Lewiston, ID (39 miles) or the Spokane International Airport in Spokane, WA (92 miles). Of interest to a potential buyer evaluating commercial success of the theater would be the populations of and distances from the following more-populous nearby communities:
*Moscow, ID (25,146)……..13
*Pullman, WA (33,354)……22
*Lewiston, ID (32,820)…….39
*Clarkston, WA (7,396)……40
*Spokane, WA (217,108)…92

The K-12 school system in Troy is highly rated, and residents are especially proud of the girl’s high school volleyball team that recently won the state championship for the second year in a row. The scenery in and around the community is spectacular, especially the pine-covered mountains and rolling hills known collectively as the “Palouse,” which was the ancestral home of the Nez Perce tribe. It was nearby that the Nez Perce rescued the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition during the winter of 1805. It was also here that the Nez Perce perfected the Appaloosa horse breed. When driving through Troy residential neighborhoods, it is common to see moose feeding on crabapple trees or bedding down in backyards. The author has already counted five moose this winter. Those interested in outdoor activities might like to know that fishing and big-game hunting are literally “out the back door.” In addition, kayaking and white-water rafting on several nearby big rivers–Selway, Lochsa, Clearwater, Salmon, and Snake–outdoor activities enjoyed by many local residents.