WALLOWA — The McLean Theater, 307 E First St. in Wallowa, was built in 1903, but it opened as a theater in 1917. It was one of three theaters in a “circuit” started by Cull Smith and P. N Schrader. The circuit was Enterprise, Wallowa and Joseph.
It was preceded by the Opera House and the Wallowa’s Electric Theatre. The McLean Theatre was built to allow for both film and live presentation. In 1955 the McLean Theatre was sold to Enterprise Theaters and fitted for CinemaScope — an anamorphic process that compresses an image during filming and uncompresses it when projected. The process involves squeezing a wide image onto 35mm film so that it fits the physical celluloid’s square frame.
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