New Theater at Maritime Museum Opens

Ken and Denise Doerfler cutting the rope, officially opening the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center’s Doerfler Family theater.

It’s official, the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center’s Doerfler Family Theater (DFT) is open for business.  Pomp and circumstance were kept to a manageable level as Ken and Denise Doerfler cut the ribbon officially opening the theater June 4th. The Doerfler Family made a sizable contribution to the Maritime Museum for this project. Additional funding came from the Murdock Charitable Trust and the Collins Foundation as well as countless locals who donated anywhere from $5.00 to thousands to the project. The much-anticipated opening event on June 4th was attended by over 80 people who contributed to the project either financially or gave their time, energy or expertise. Cellist Adrienne Welsh provided a soothing soundtrack for this highly social event.

The initial brainstorming and research for the museum’s theater project, a complete rebuild of the old Smuggler’s Cove bar overlooking Port Dock Five, began in earnest some six years ago. Museum visitors can select on demand from eight “Ebb and Flow” videos and view them on an 18-foot screen. More short films will be added to the menu when the Ebb and Flow project progresses. The Society is seeking donations to have more videos produced. The museum’s 125 seat theater is equipped with a state of the art 4K laser projector. The system is also capable of screen mirroring and a myriad of other high-tech features. The DFT can also be rented for after-hours events such as weddings, lectures, musical performances and film showings. The Doerfler Family theater is a one-of-a-kind facility, as theaters are typically a large box with no windows, the DFT features a stunning panoramic view of Port Dock 5 and Yaquina Bay.