Looking for the right business to complement others in Downtown Redmond, Ted Eady struck upon renovating the Odem Theater.
The historic, small theater at 349 SW Sixth St. showed its last film in the 1970s. It then went through a series of retail sites, such as a waterbed store and jazzercise center.
As sort of a hobbyist developer, Eady, 62, has been remodeling a few downtown buildings into retail and apartment locations.
“I did some development work in Sisters in the ’90s, and bought this building 2001, which had been retail space,” he said. “I wanted something that would attract other businesses downtown, not necessarily compete with them.”
Milton Odem came from Idaho and bought the Odem Mayfair in September of 1929 near the Redmond Hotel, then the Great Depression hit. By 1937, he bought the current Odem building and converted it into a theater, said Eady.
Eady and his son, Evan, found original drawings and photos of the building in the basement. They also discovered the original lettering for the Odem and decided to use that look for their marquee sign.
“We don’t know what the original sign from the ’30s looked like because we haven’t found any pictures of it, but finding these in the basement spelling what they spell in an art deco style that was popular in the ’30s — I’m beginning to suspect this was part of it,” he said in a previous Bulletin story.
Today, that sign is ablaze for moviegoers seven days a week.
“We show films on Sunday, too, as we want to get more people downtown on that day,” he said.
Eady has worked hard all his life, growing up in El Centro where his father was a lettuce farmer. After attending Carlsbad North County High School and Willamette University, he struck out on his own doing property zoning work and small developments.
His son also attended Willamette and obtained a degree in filmmaking and that sparked an interest in reviving the Odem.
“My son went to Willamette University in Salem as a film studies major, and while doing a senior project, a short film, we came across some information about the upcoming conversion of films from 35 mm to digital. We saw that as an opportunity for this theater (to show digital films) and that jumped-started the remodel,” Eady said.
The men completely gutted the building and installed two, 20-seat theaters with 17-foot-wide screens and a professional sound system. They invested about $100,000 in the theater, plus another $30,000 to install a kitchen.
They kept a 90-year-old wooden stage to use as part of the bar. Then, they added a kitchen in the back of the building, and have built out a patio next to the building for relaxing and live music.
Today, the Odem Theater and Pub offers a full-service restaurant, 20 beers on tap, three ciders and two kombuchas. The menu includes meats from grass-fed cattle that Eady owns on his ranch outside of Sisters.
“The beef is 100 percent grass-fed and hormone and antibiotic-free,” he said.
Plus, the chefs make their own sauces, bread dough and marinana sauce in-house. Food is allowed in the theater, so one can have a meal on a tray while watching a film.
And, of course, the films, are some of the most popular today.
“We try to show Oscar-nominated films, or Oscar winners,” he said.
A current offering includes JoJo Rabbit, Parasite, Knives Out, Richard Jewell and Jumanji, the Next Level. Films are shown all day long, starting at 11:45 a.m. until about 8 p.m.
For more details on the shows, and for reserve seating tickets, go to: odemtheaterpub.com.