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Standley White

See inside the Lear Theater

By July 9, 2012

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Ever wonder what's inside the Lear Theater, that big white building with the tall columns that faces the Truckee River and Riverside Drive?

Lear Theater in Reno, Nevada, NV
Lear Theater in Reno, Nevada.
Photo © Stan White

I have too, and during Artown in July we have a chance for a look-see inside this historic building, built in 1939 for the First Church of Christ, Scientist, and designed by noted architect Paul R. Williams. Free tours ("Tuesdays With Moya") will be offered on four Tuesdays during Artown, all from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The dates are July 10, 17, 24, and 31. The address is 528 W. 1st Street in Reno. Visitors will be invited to make suggestions on how best to use the Lear Theater.

The non-profit organization that owned the Lear Theater struggled for years trying to make a go of the property, finally giving up and donating it to Artown in December 2011. Artown now has the task of trying to fulfill the vision of Moya Lear, the main benefactor behind what turned out to be a failed effort.

Of course, there is much more to the story. To learn the history before Artown acquired the property, refer to "Lear Theater" from the Online Nevada Encyclopedia. For a detailed look at the recent history and financial woes that led to the Artown acquisition, check out "The Money Pit" in the Reno News & Review.

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