75 years ago this week, the Chief opened its doors and became a major fixture on Main Street. During its heyday, the Chief was a destination for movie goers but that all changed for good on a cruel night in late March of 1993.
“Is there any hope for it Glen? “asked a KPVI Reporter.
“There’s no floors,” said a firefighter.
“What does that mean?” pressed the reporter.
“It’s gone,” continued the firefighter. “All you’ve got right now is a shell. The whole building is gone on the inside.”
The Chief was more than just a theater; it was a part of our community. It’s where Sara Christensen’s parents spent much of their young courtship.
“They had a wonderful marriage and a big part of their dating was the Chief Theatre, so just a lot of memories,” said Sara Christensen, a lifelong resident of Pocatello. “I personally didn’t have the opportunity to be in the Chief Theatre as far as a theater itself but they did and it was a great memory for them.”
The Chief towered high above Main Street. It’s where many watched movies like Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time. Many memories were made there and these memories are coming back to life, thanks to a new display at the Marshall Public Library.
“This display covers the entire history of the theater,” said Trent Clegg, Reference Librarian. “There’s a lot of exciting information from when it opened, to shows that played, to performers that played when they had live shows there and then there is some information about the destruction of the theater.”
For Christensen, whose mother passed away nearly 6 years ago, seeing this glimpse into her parent’s past was a source of joy.
“It’s really fun to go ahead and look at that and know that had a part to do with my parents and a lot of their memories,” said Christensen. “It makes it great knowing that they had that time there at the Chief Theatre and I’m sure a lot of other couples did the same thing.”
The display can be found on the second level of the Marshall Public Library in Pocatello. You can find more information about this display by calling the library at (208) 232-1263.