“The building itself is beautiful and full of so many happy memories for people—including for our own team. It’s a space that’s ultimately about coming together and having fun through a shared experience, in the simplest of ways. We’re so excited to be bringing both the hotel—which has had a veil of mystery for 50 years now—and the theater back into community life.”
– Erin Stephenson

The MACK Theater in McMinnville, Oregon

“The building itself is beautiful and full of so many happy memories for people—including for our own team. It’s a space that’s ultimately about coming together and having fun through a shared experience, in the simplest of ways. We’re so excited to be to bringing both the hotel—which has had a veil of mystery for 50 years now—and the theater back into community life.”

– Erin Stephenson

MACK Theater: Reel Plans are Being Revisited

—The new ownership, which includes the team behind the Atticus Hotel, is committed to bringing the downtown properties back to life—

A new partnership with hometown roots and deep hospitality expertise has acquired two historic buildings in the heart of downtown McMinnville. Charlie Hays and Bob Komin have partnered with the team behind the Atticus Hotel—Erin Stephenson, Brian Shea and Ben Perle—to purchase the Mack Theater and Hotel Yamhill. The sale also includes the adjoining Macy Building.

The Atticus Hotel team will develop and operate the properties and intends to bring the Mack Theater back to life as a thriving entertainment venue, completely renovating and modernizing the hotel while retaining its historic character. Just as they did with the Atticus Hotel, Stephenson, Shea and Perle are committed to an independently owned and operated business model, and to putting the community at the heart of the project.

The new owners have deep roots in the McMinnville community. Hays and Stephenson are both McMinnville natives, and the Hays family has long been a part of the McMinnville business community: Charlie’s sister Linda Hays is owner of Hopscotch Toys, and their parents owned the shoe repair shop a few doors down from the Mack Theater. Charlie dreamed of buying the theater for years and was excited to find the right partners to make her dream a reality.

The reimagined hotel and theater will support local economic development through new jobs, urban renewal money and tax income. Additionally, the properties will further cement McMinnville as a visitor destination, bringing more tourism dollars to the community.

“There’s not much more sacred in the collective heart of our community than the Mack Theater, and the constant longing to see the lights go back on over the years has been palpable,” said Erin Stephenson. “The building itself is beautiful and full of so many happy memories for people—including for our own team. It’s a space that’s ultimately about coming together and having fun through a shared experience, in the simplest of ways. We’re so excited to be working with Charlie and Bob to help bring both the hotel—which has had a veil of mystery for 50 years now—and the theater back into community life.”

“This is an extremely exciting day for downtown McMinnville,” said Dave Rucklos, executive director, McMinnville Downtown Association. “The Mack Theater and Hotel Yamhill are both iconic McMinnville properties, and bringing them back to their former glory through the responsible care and vision of this local, independent, and seasoned team is absolutely the best outcome we could have asked for. With this restoration, McMinnville will be home to one of the top downtowns in the state and country—vibrant, historic but not outdated, multi-faceted and community-oriented.”

“The revitalization of the Mack Theater feels like a long-awaited answer to the dreams and prayers of countless locals,” said Jeff Knapp, executive director of Visit McMinnville. “To top it off, it is being executed by locals. This is the definition of a best-case scenario for McMinnville. These types of investments in our community have positive ripple effects, felt throughout our local economy for generations to come.”

“With the opening of the Atticus Hotel we saw the creation of more than fifty new jobs, an increase of over $10 million a year in direct visitor spending in McMinnville and a substantial increase in local Transient Lodging Tax revenue,” said Stephenson. “While these all contribute to economic development in McMinnville, more than anything we feel drawn to helping revive the crown jewels of our community—the Mack Theater and Hotel Yamhill—and we’re excited to keep this part of the city’s history intact for many years to come.”

Erin Stephenson

Erin Stephenson • The MACK Theater

Erin Stephenson is a McMinnville, Oregon native whose passion for travel is eclipsed only by a love for her hometown. After growing up in McMinnville, Erin headed south to the University of Oregon where she earned degrees in History and English. Her college years were punctuated with international adventures that eventually gave way to extended travels in Europe after she earned her degree in 2001. She returned home to McMinnville dreaming of opening a small hotel some day, but focusing her career in the nonprofit sector.

After serving as an Americorp VISTA volunteer Erin was hired as Executive Director of McMinnville Area Habitat for Humanity, a position she held for five years before taking a post managing the charitable giving programs for a local bank. While Erin loved working with local non-profits, she was still nurturing the dream of a hotel, so in 2010 she launched a boutique lodging company in downtown McMinnville. The company has since grown to include two brands—the Atticus Hotel & 3rd Street Flats—and three locations. Additionally, Erin and her partners own and manage several commercial properties in Historic Downtown McMinnville.

While Erin has worn many hats in her community over the years, some of her fondest memories are of summers spent during high school and college working at the Mack Theater as the day shift manager. While her skills may be rusty, she’s pretty sure she can still thread up the old projector if needed.

Erin has received a variety of awards during her career, including Business Leader of the Year, Woman of the Year, the Mayor’s Pillar of the Community award, and others. Erin continues to indulge her passion for nonprofit work through her role as board chair of Visit McMinnville. She and her husband Travis live in McMinnville with their two sons and two obnoxious but loveable dogs.

Brian Shea

Brian Shea • The MACK Theater

Brian Shea grew up in Salem, Oregon as a city boy with a love for the great outdoors. After earning a degree in Graphic Design from Oregon State University Brian headed south to Newport Beach, spending several years deeply immersed in California’s design culture. A chance meeting with his future wife convinced Brian that he was ready to leave big city living behind for the charms of small town life, and he set his sights northbound once again. He married a McMinnville native and moved to her hometown.

After returning to Oregon, Brian shifted his career from graphic design to real estate, taking on both commercial and residential projects. His knowledge of commercial real estate, great design aesthetic and entrepreneurial nature made him the perfect fit within 3rd Street Flats. Since coming on board with the company as a co-owner in January 2011 Brian has assisted with growth to a second location and its newest project, the Atticus Hotel. He has taken a leadership role managing the commercial real estate holding company and of course graphic design.

Over the past fifteen years Brian has wholeheartedly embraced life in McMinnville, and in his spare time enjoys playing the role of the gentlemen woodsman, hunting ducks and geese, and nurturing a giant garden. He lives in McMinnville with his wife Dianne, their son and daughter, and his faithful hunting companion, Remington Bell.

Ben Perle

Ben Perle • The MACK Theater

Ben spent his early years in San Francisco and Paris, nurturing a passion for slow living while embracing the cultural wonders of two of the world’s most vibrant cities. Driven by a passion for food and hospitality, Ben earned a degree in Hotel Management and then a Masters in Hospitality from Cornell University’s Paris campus.

Post graduation, a fortuitous introduction while working at Disneyland Paris led Ben to take the reigns at a nascent start-up called Chateauform—a unique hotel concept catering to corporate retreats—where he helped launch the first three locations of a company that now has 53 properties worldwide. The Pacific Northwest soon came calling though, and Ben moved to Bend, Oregon where he enjoyed a long tenure at Sunriver Resort eventually serving as Director of Resort Operations. Excited to indulge his creative side, in 2008 Ben jumped at the chance to help create Bend’s first luxury hotel—The Oxford–before moving into a regional role with The Oxford’s parent company, serving as Regional VP of Operations and overseeing properties across the western United States. In 2018 Ben made the leap to owning his own hotel and joined Erin and Brian as a partner and co-owner in Live McMinnville, Llc, managing both the 3rd Street Flats and Atticus Hotel brands. Since opening, the Atticus Hotel has received multiple accolades, including “Best Wine Country Hotel in America” by USA Today and “#12 Hotel in America” by Trip Advisor’s Best of the Best.

An avid gardener, beekeeper, cook and entertainer, Ben is now embracing a Willamette Valley lifestyle, indulging a lifelong passion for wine by getting out into the vines in Oregon wine country. A lover of both the valley and the high desert, Ben splits his time between McMinnville and Bend, where his wife Maeve and son Luka continue to make their home.

Charlie Hays & Bob Komin

Charlie Hays & Bob Komin • The MACK Theater

Charlie Hays ~ Charlie is a local girl. She grew up in Carlton and attended Yamhill-Carlton High School. Her parents owned Hays’ Shoe Repair (now Crescent Café and R. Stuart) from 1983 until her father passed in 1998, and she feels like she grew up on 3rd Street. Weekends were spent working for her parents in the morning to earn money for the matinee at The Mack, or an ice cream at Aunt Aggie’s. During high school, she worked for Midge’s Diner, Frame Corner, and RJ Photography, all on 3rd Street.

Charlie and Bob met while working for different hi-tech companies in Portland. They married in 1995 and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Charlie graduated with honors from the University of Cincinnati School of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning with a degree in Art History and a minor in Painting. She went on to pursue painting while raising their three children and is also an avid cyclist, master gardener, and enthusiastic cook and baker.

Although not living there now, Charlie has a vested interest in the prosperity and success of McMinnville. Her mom still lives in town, and her sister Linda has owned and run Hopscotch Toys for the past 18 years. Acknowledging that there is a sense of collective ownership of the Mack Theater in McMinnville, Charlie feels a sense of stewardship for the buildings and the businesses they house as well as an obligation to bring them back to service for the community.

Bob Komin ~ Bob grew up in Beaverton, attended Jesuit High School and graduated from the University of Oregon before receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School. After spending the last 2 decades working in Silicon Valley as a CFO helping to build fast growing high technology companies, his family moved back home to Oregon last September relocating in Bend and are thrilled to be back in the Pacific Northwest and closer to family in McMinnville and the Portland area.

Bob is currently a private investor, member of the executive committee and chairman of the audit and risk committee of the University of Oregon Foundation Board of Trustees, and is advising 4 startup companies. During his career he has helped raise over $7.5 billion in equity and debt capital.

From March 2015 to June 2020 Bob was CFO of NASDAQ listed Sunrun, Inc. in San Francisco, CA. Bob previously served as CFO of Flurry, Inc. (acquired for $200 million by Yahoo! in 2014), a mobile application analytics and data-powered advertising platform with over 1.5 billion connected devices. Prior to joining Flurry, Inc., Bob held CFO roles at Ticketfly (acquired by Pandora and most recently sold to Eventbrite), Linden Lab/Second Life (pioneers in virtual currency exchangeable into multiple global real world currencies, micro transactions and virtual reality), Solexel, Tellme Networks (acquired for $800 million by Microsoft in 2007), and XOR.

ACCOMMODATING SINCE OPENING DAY – in 1886

The building was erected in 1886 by L. H. Cook of McMinnville and was known historically as the Cook’s Hotel. The building was described at the time as a three story brick building with plans drawn by B. F. Fuller. Fuller was a farmer and the brother-in-law of Lyman Hall Cook who built the hotel. The original hotel housed 28 bedroom chambers. It had a billiard hall, bridal chamber, an elegant second floor parlor and a large dining room where meals cost 25 to 50 cents. By 1890 the hotel was referred to as The Commercial House with lodging at the cost of $1.00–$2.00per day which would be approximately $27.00-–$53.00 today.

This large, rectangular, three-story, stuccoed brick Italianate building has a flat roof and a decorative pressed metal-bracketed cornice. Stuccoed belt courses articulate the story divisions. The Third Street façade originally had four bays but now has two as a result of the Mack Theater being installed in the eastern half of this façade. The northwest corner of the building is one bay wide with a clipped corner entrance. There is a concrete block building attached to the hotel which was built in 1946. Contrary to popular belief, Mack Theater is not named after McMinnville, but rather the Mattechecks, its first proprietors. (HistoricMac.org)

Cook's Hotel in McMinnville, Oregon
The MACK Theater in the Yamhill Hotel, McMinnville, Oregon
The MACK Theater in McMinnville, Oregon

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PHOTO CREDITS
Opening MACK Sign Photo: Holly Hursley
Historical Building Photos: McMinnville Downtown Association
Footer MACK Sign Photo: Visit McMinnville