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Nina and Glenn Froehlich, who worked for the California Electric Power Company (later to become Edison Company), were married in 1933.

The couple moved to Idyllwild with their two children in 1941 to live in the power company house to provide electric service to the 200 customers of that time.

In 1949, Nina Mae and Glenn began spending their weekend evenings running the first theatre in Idyllwild at the present Silver Pines Lodge. They completed construction of the Rustic Theatre in 1952 and moved the operation to its present location. This was a "side job" to their primary employment with Edison Company which continued to serve the growing communities of Idyllwild, Pine Cove, Garner Valley and Anza.

In 1962, Nina Mae and her husband retired from the Edison Company and sold the Rustic Theatre in order to give full attention to the Idyllwild Inn, which they had purchased from owner Jerry Johnson. For the next 18 years, they refurbished the buildings and enjoyed the "innkeeping" business until their final retirement in 1980.

Rustic Theatre along North Circle Drive , Circa 1952


If anyone has any historic old photos, videos or memories that you would like to share with us regarding The Rustic Theatre, please do contact us on info@rustictheatre.com


 The Covid pandemic decimated the entertainment industry and while we may fondly remember times of going to a movie theatre to laugh with others, to cry beside them or simply enjoy the feeling of connection, this is slowly starting to feel like a distant memory. 

At this point, now almost 70 years since its construction, there are multiple families, local and distant, that enjoy a sense of comfort knowing that the Rustic Theatre still exists and while we will continue to do our best to keep the Rustic afloat during the current pandemic shut-down we welcome any support to help with the monthly operational costs and to save this beautiful, iconic old theatre.

If you would like to be a part of the "Friends of the Rustic" please submit your details in the link below.