Opened on November 1, 1946 by Mr. and Mrs. E. Fraser Taggart, the Rainbow Theatre was a marvel of the times. The Taggarts had been showing weekly movies in the old Empress Theatre for two years before the Rainbow Theatre opened. The first movie shown was Rainbow Island starring Dorothy Lamour and Eddie Bracken. This two story building featured a concrete sidewalk, lobby, floodlighted stage, two separate dressing rooms, a sloping floor with seat rows placed at an angle, excellent acoustics, and seating for 300. At a time when there was no sewer system in McBride, the Taggarts sought special permission from the Village Commission to install a septic system under the sidewalk as their two “modern” restrooms were the only ones available in a public building within town.
The small store, Radio Electric, operated in the room at the left of the building. In 1962, the Kawchuks bought the theatre and they also built a drive in theatre across the Fraser River. Six years later the Rainbow Theatre burned down. The building in front of you was re-built by Max Giger and in the mid 1980’s was eventually transformed into the Mountain Chapel.
Photo: Valley Museum and Archives – 2003.01.08