Named for renowned architect Kirtland Cutter, the 1912 Metaline School became a community and performing arts center in 1991, housing the Cutter Theatre, its support spaces, the Metalines Library, a Rural Schools Museum, the Kirtland Cutter Art Gallery and areas for a variety of public and private uses.
The Cutter Theatre is on the State and National Historic Registers. Guided tours are available upon request or a self-guided tour is made possible using brochures found in the lobby.
For those interested in the history of the area, a visit to our Rural Schools Exhibit will satisfy. Here guests can view a photographic history of the region and its place in the landscape among American rural schools. The history of the Selkirk School District is emblematic of the rural American experience.
Enjoy quality entertainment in the intimate 158 seat theatre. Events include locally produced or visiting theatre company's plays and musicals, professional musicians and dancers, lectures, gallery shows, elementary and high school plays, concerts and an arts festival.
For information about our events, please consult the "Coming Events" page or call us at 509-446-4108. It would also be our pleasure to email or send-by-post a 2011 program to your home.
Our intention is to bring quality visual and performing arts and cultural programs to the Inland Northwest, and to do so affordably.
Since September of 1991 we have succeeded in that.
- Preserve the arts
- Present quality performing arts
- Nurture theatre students in the performing arts
- Bring the arts to community affordably
- Provide creative opportunities that both entertain, educate and inspire audience and artist alike
- Sustain the facility where community can celebrate its culture and experience that of others
The Cutter Theatre began life in 1968 as The North County Theatre (NCT) following a local businessman's suggestion that the community produce a play. The NCT managed one-play-per-year at the community Down River Days celebration and performed on occasion in the high school gymnasium or a local restaurant.
In 1987 the process of obtaining federal 501(c)(3) non-profit status began with election of officers, board members, composing Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.
In 1991 the theatre group purchased the 1912 Metaline Falls School, a Kirtland Cutter design building. The two-story 20,000 square foot brick structure with 10,000 square foot unfinished attic would require a Herculean effort to bring back into health following abandoned use some years before. With local volunteer effort and with individual, business, corporate, county, state and federal donations & grant funding, the long-vacant school was converted to a Community and Cultural Center without peer.
Since its opening in September 1991, the Cutter has hosted an average of twenty-two events per calendar year.
By all rights, a community so slight in population should not have been able to achieve this feat.
But the Cutter Theatre inspires all who visit. And that inspiration is what has created and sustained it.
It would be our pleasure to offer you/your group a guided tour; to have you come to an event; to welcome you into our affordable membership or to accept with gratitude your kind donation.
It is by the spirit of individual participation, by supportive conversations in community and by attendance at programs that we will sustain this amazing facility. Won't you join us?