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Vale, OR—The Rex Theater is among Oregon’s latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places. Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP) recommended the nomination at their November 2021 meeting. The National Park Service — which maintains the National Register of Historic Places — accepted this nomination in March 2022.

The Rex Theater is an Art Deco Style building built in 1928. It was constructed and has operated as a theater for the past 93 years. The location, setting, and feel of the theater represent the city’s early twentieth-century infrastructure and business development. Associated with the Golden Age of Hollywood, the theater had a profound social and cultural influence on the community, being the sole source of entertainment for both the community of Vale and surrounding towns during the period from 1928-1937, until a neighboring town constructed a theater. The Rex Theater has proven to be an invaluable resource to the town of Vale and has contributed substantially to the historic, social and cultural fabric of the area.

The Rex Theater is a recipient of the Oregon Historic Theater Grant awarded in 2020. The program was developed from a National Park Service grant award to Oregon State Historic Preservation Office in 2019, through the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant. The grant funded both the nomination and rehabilitation projects on the theater.
The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. More information about the National Register and recent Oregon listings are online at oregonheritage.org (listed under “Designate”).

Properties listed in the National Register are:
• Recognized as significant to the nation, state, or community;
• Considered in the planning of federal or federally-assisted projects;
• Eligible for federal and state tax benefits;
• Qualify for historic preservation grants when funds are available;
• Eligible for leniency in meeting certain building code requirements;
• Subject to local laws pertaining to the conservation and protection of historic resources.

National Register listing does not place any restrictions on a property at the state or federal level, unless property owners choose to participate in tax benefit or grant programs.

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