In the community

Vale’s Rex Theater starts new era on historic registry

The marquee of the Rex Theater stands as a reminder of its heyday. The building, with restoration plans ongoing, has attained designation on the National Register of Historic Places (Enterprise/FILE)

VALE - When Thomas and Hanna McElroy opened their new theater in downtown Vale in 1928, they had a success on their hands.

Their Rex Theater opened in what was the Golden Age of films – and they had little competition. The nearest theaters were in Weiser and Baker City.

Then, the theater “was the sole source of entertainment for both the community of Vale and surrounding towns,” according to a historian’s account of the theater.

The last film played in 2006, but the Rex has continued as a venue for community events and now has another distinction.

The building at 240 W . . .