When it was built in 1939, the Kallet Theater was where Pulaski (Pul-ask-eye) went to laugh, cry, and be transported. Today, this historic Art Deco movie house is experiencing its own Cinderella story. The Kallet has been completely transformed into a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose event venue, including a community event and entertainment center. A building like this restored to its former glory? It’s the kind of thing that makes you believe in Hollywood endings.
The Story of the Kallet Theater
On October 6, 1881, Pulaski suffered a major fire that was so disastrous that “more than sixty persons or firms suffered loss of property.” The burned district, comprising the entire business part of the village, extended from North Park to the iron bridge and from Salmon River to the west side of Broad street. The principal sufferers were Dr. James N. Betts. The loss prompted Betts to construct something new, something that would give back to the community.
In 1883, the Betts Opera House opened for business. Francis Hohman became the proprietor of the opera house and the name was changed to the Hohman Opera House in 1908. Hohman, along with his family operated the Opera House later calling it the Pulaski Opera House, and eventually operated it as a movie house called the Pulaski Theatre. In 1924 the Pulaski Lodge I.O.O.F. (International Order of Odd Fellows) submitted plans to the state labor commission for a building, to occupy the vacant lots on the east side of Jefferson St. between the Opera House and F.P. Bett’s Store. It opened in February 1925 and would be called the Temple Theatre. Tragically, The Hohman Opera House was destroyed by fire in January of 1934.
In 1935, Myron J. Kallet, assumed the lease for the Temple Theater and remodeled it, opening it as the New Temple Theater on Friday, August 2 of that year. The New Temple Theater burned in January of 1939, after which M. J. Kallet, Inc. acquired the former Pulaski Opera House/Pulaski Theatre lot as well as the New Temple Theater ruins and proceeded to construct a new theater. This new Theater opened on Wednesday June 7th of 1939, it was called The Kallet Theater.
The Kallet operated as a Cinema and meeting house until sadly, it closed in 1984. The space was used intermittently as a Yoga studio and auto parts store, until Father and son team, Vince and Vinny Lobdell, obtained the property in the end of 2011 and with the help of many supporters now bring you, the new Kallet Theater.
This proverbial phoenix from the ash has returned once again to bring the Village of Pulaski and the surrounding area a Theater and events center, hosting gala events, fundraisers, wedding receptions, anniversary parties, company parties, corporate training, conferences and all variety of film and live performances.
For more information on the buildings renovation and ultimate transformation click here.