Panida Theater Announces Lauren Sanders as New Managing Director

SANDPOINT, ID, January 18, 2023 --- The Panida Theater, a historic venue located in  downtown Sandpoint, is pleased to announce the appointment of Lauren Sanders as its new  Managing Director, starting in February. Lauren brings a wealth of experience in marketing and  communications and a passion for the arts to the theater and will oversee all aspects of its  operations. 

“The Board welcomes Lauren as the Panida moves forward with the Century Fund,” said Jim  Healey, chair of the Panida Board of Directors. “Her experience with marketing, volunteer  coordination, and contracts will serve her well in the Managing Director position.” 

Sanders is a graduate of North Idaho College and the University of Idaho with a degree in Public  Relations. She has nearly ten years of experience in marketing and communication in a variety of  industries. Out of college, her career began as a Marketing Manager for a smart pallet company,  RM2. She guided them through a rebrand and was integral in increasing industry recognition by  developing campaigns with businesses such as AT&T and Covestro. She then became a  marketing and communication consultant where she provided communication strategy, event  coordination, social media management, and content development for her clients.  

Lauren and her husband share deep generational roots in this beautiful area. Lauren is 7th generation Coeur d’Alene and while she wasn’t born there, growing up the family would spend  every vacation in North Idaho and it imprinted on Lauren’s heart. She recalls her grandfather Jim  Elder’s lifelong dedication to the Coeur d’Alene community. “My Papa was integral in the  remodeling of McEuen Field and in the library update, and he served on the City Council for  many years. Being a first-hand witness to his commitment to his community instilled in me the  value of giving back to where you live.” As she describes it, “North Idaho has been the most  consistent place for me, it's my home.” For 33 years her husband’s family has enjoyed their  cabin in Sagle on Lake Pend Oreille.  

Lauren and her family officially moved to Sandpoint in 2021. She wanted to get involved in the  Sandpoint community, “I was presented with a great opportunity to be the marketing manager  for Kaniksu Community Health. I loved working there, it was a great opportunity to better  understand the residents of Bonner and Boundary Counties.”  

Now she is deeply honored to bring her heart commitment to the community and her career  accomplishments together to serve the historic Panida Theater.

“The Panida is a magical place that has been bringing our community together for nearly 100  years. I’m honored to be the Managing Director during this pivotal time as we near the Panida’s  100-year anniversary in 2027,” says Sanders. “The Panida is a place for our community to come  together in a shared experience, and I hope to preserve what the Panida Moms had in mind while  bringing to life the plans of the Century Fund that will restore and modernize the Panida so our  community can enjoy it for the next 100 years!” 

“These are exciting times for the Panida Theater as we move toward its 100th anniversary in  2027,” says Healey. “Lauren is looking forward to the challenge of celebrating the first hundred  years of the theater and launching the theater into its second hundred years.” 

The Panida is in the midst of a large community-driven fundraiser dubbed the Century Fund  campaign, with the goal to raise $1.9 million by 2027 in five phases in order to meet long deferred maintenance and renovation needs of the historic building and its smaller sibling, the  Little Theater. The first phase of the campaign, launched in October, has a goal to raise $273,100  for funds needed to replace the theater roof. 

“We’re right at the threshold of meeting our first-year goal,” says Chris Bessler, chair of the  Century Fund committee. “We’re getting terrific community support, and I’m super happy to  have Lauren coming on board to help lead the Century Fund.” 

About the Panida 

The Panida opened as a vaudeville and movie house in 1927. It is listed on the National Register  of Historic Places, and its Spanish Colonial Revival Style has been named by the Society of  Architectural Historians as one of four architecturally significant theaters in Idaho. 

After falling into disrepair and facing demolition, in 1985 community members formed the  nonprofit Panida Theater Committee and raised the funds to purchase the building as an  operating performing arts center. The adjacent Little Theater was acquired in 2003 as a smaller  performance venue and community meeting place. 

All individual donations to the Century Fund up to $5,000 will be doubled for the first $200,000 donated, thanks to our partnership with Ting. You can donate to the Century Fund here.

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