Beginning at the turn of the century...
The Napier Theatre has a rich and interesting past. The Theatre was named after one of the original owners, Garnett Napier Coyle who came to Drumheller sometime after 1910. Jim Dezeeuw managed the theatre for Mr. Coyle until 1946.
Marguerit Playle started as a boxoffice cashier when she was 16yrs old and worked at the Napier for a total of 36 years. She took over the management duties in 1946. In 1951 the original Napier Theatre was destroyed by fire (see images below). The last picture to screen there was Jim Thorpe All American, starring Burt Lancaster.
The Great Fire
The new Napier was built on the same site in 1952 and opened in 1953 with "River of No Return" starring Robert Mitchum and Maryln Monrone.
In 1968 the Napier was sold to Bob Shapiro who was a business man in Drumheller. He owned the ShopRite store downtown as well as the Sky-Lite Drive in Theatre in Drumheller which operated from 1953 to 1973.
Bob Shapiro passed away in 1974. He turned over the Napier to his son Lorne Shapiro in 1973. Lorne operated the Napier until 1985.
In 1986 the theatre was purchased by Landmark Cinemas on Alberta. They operated the theatre until 1996, when the theatre was purchased by Jeff & Kathy Larson. At this time the theatre was renovated including new seats and Dolby Stereo sound.
In 1999, the theatre was sold to Keith Barnard and he owned and operated the cinema up until 2005 when he sold it back to Jeff & Kathy Larson.
Since then, the theatre has underwent some more improvements, including the installation of 2 - 35/70mm projectors and a Dolby DTS Digital Sound system.
In June of 2013 The Napier went digital with the installation of a Barco digital projector and a new Dolby Digital sound system. The theatre still has its film projectors and runs the odd film presentation.
We encourage you to come and experience a night at the movies!!