In the early 1900s going to the movies was a different experience than it is today. In visiting their local downtown theatre, movie goers of that era were often transported to Egyptian temples, Spanish gardens or Chinese palaces. Movie palaces were places of enchanted wonder and imagination. Often seating capacities compared to those of stadiums today in terms of the percentage of a community's population that could attend a single event.
In Medford, the Holly Theatre was a vital part of the civic and cultural life of the Rogue Valley. Birthdays were celebrated. Anniversaries were marked. First kisses were had.
When the theatre was closed in 1986 the community lost an important part of its heritage. In 1996, the Holly was purchased by Art and Lea Alfinito with the dream of restoring the building to its former grandeur and place in history. The Alfinito's served as caretakers of the building, preserving many of the building's unique architectural elements. In April, 2011, the JPR Foundation purchased the Holly Theatre announcing its plan to restore it in a way similar to the Cascade Theatre in Redding, CA, which it completed in 2004. In 2012, the Foundation transfered the operation of both theaters to a newly formed subsidiary, Jefferson Live! LLC and tasked the organization with the restoration of this Medford gem.