Pearl Theater a gem with something for everyone

Patrice Webb
Patrice Webb

I have been reading some of the negative posts on social media about the Pearl Theater in Bonner’s Ferry. I have been deeply saddened by posts slamming the dedicated volunteers who have worked so hard to bring joy and culture to our little corner of the world.

I have been familiar with the Pearl Theater since it was founded in 2012. I have played two CD release shows there and recently played a songwriter in the round show with two dear friends. Everything from the volunteers who hosted the shows, to the audience members who came was welcoming and warm and the experience was one I will always treasure.

Over the years I have been impressed by the quality and diversity of what the Pearl has had to offer the community. Everything from writer’s groups, yoga classes, family friendly open mics, movies, karaoke, and my favorite event “performer’s circle” where members of the community come together in song and share original or well-beloved songs everyone can sing along to.

The Pearl is also becoming known for bringing world class entertainment to Bonner’s Ferry with class acts such as Claude Bourbon and the late classical guitarist Leon Atkinson who during his tenure with the Music Conservancy of Sandpoint taught generations of children the beauty of classical guitar.

And now, all of a sudden, all of this goodness is in danger of being destroyed by a few disgruntled people who object to anything that goes against their beliefs and seem to be willing to cause harm anything they don’t like. So much for American freedom – ironically all of this is coming from a group of people who claim that freedom is everything it means to be American. So just who is an American? Who has freedom? Is it only the people a person agrees with? And if so -Is it just for a few of us?

Much of this kerfuffle surrounds the Pearl’s willingness to host a Bonner’s Ferry Pride event put on by the local Bonner’s Ferry Pride Committee who are people simply trying to provide their members with an event that is friendly and welcoming. For a group of people who often don’t feel welcome anywhere else this event is a positive thing.

Also, it seems that for some of these disgruntled individuals, that the Yoga classes currently being offered are also on their “list” as well…Who knew that Yoga, that has provided numerous health benefits to people young and old was “satanic”?

Finally, a part of the whole kerfuffle seems to be centered around a rehearsal by a local drag performing group that took place in a closed theater with no one allowed inside the theater. NOTE: A private rehearsal in which no one had access to the theater – And this is somehow harmful? And to whom is it harmful if no one is there to see it?

I respect the fact that there are a variety of beliefs both religious and political in our area. Idaho is also conservative and that is perfectly fine by me but to destroy something simply because it goes against the beliefs of one group is simply un-American. We are a Nation that is founded upon freedom and to put one group’s freedoms over another is not “freedom” – it is just a form of oppression and hate towards those a particular group does not like.

And so, to these disgruntled people I would offer up this suggestion: If there is something you don’t like, don’t attend. That is it. You are an adult. You have that freedom to decide for yourself where you will spend your time. But guess what -that very same freedom applies to others. Even those you don’t like because that is what freedom is.

To those who are perhaps new to the area and are wondering what this whole controversy is about I would encourage you to visit the Pearl’s web site and perhaps consider attending an open mic, or a performers circle, or a writer’s group which, by the way do not cost community members anything. You might also take a gander at some of the concerts the Pearl is putting on which are shows that one usually only sees in large cities such as Spokane or Portland.

The Pearl Theater is a true gem in Boundary County and one that is to be preserved so that everyone, regardless of their political affiliation or religion can enjoy so rather than listening to the disgruntled voices of a few, come out and see for yourself. I can promise you there is something for everyone.

Patrice Webb

3 thoughts on “Pearl Theater a gem with something for everyone

  1. Patrice, this is so well written. And it is so sad that the morality police continue to reduce our freedoms, and limit our cultural, artistic, and community opportunities in the pursuit of forcing a narrow world view on everyone. Added to the challenges that all volunteer based organizations face these days in recruiting new and keeping dedicated volunteers; these actions of a few serve to divide and conquer a positive, vibrant, and healthy society.

    Ironic that this minority of people, who don’t want government or tax dollars to pay for or manage things, aim to make it impossible for organizations or community folks to provide a variety of activities to keep people connected and involved.

    So sad if the Pearl Theatre succumbs to these anti-cultural Nazis.

  2. Madam, I am a combat veteran who was once stationed in Germany during the Cold War. I have seen a concentration camp (Flosenberg). For you to call people you disagree with as “Nazis” is disgusting. You should travel to Europe and see a real Nazi camp. You will eat your words. People like you like to throw around words without knowledge or context.

    1. I believe what she meant was fascist. Many people think this is a synonym for Nazi. A similar mistake is to assume American means a believer in democracy.

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