In 1897, Russian-born William David Gross traveled North from Seattle to Alaska among a sea of dreamers who hoped to find their fortune during the Klondike Gold Rush. A businessman raised in a family of tailors, David followed his business acumen through the many opportunities that presented themselves. Working as a clerk became selling his own groceries and supplies, which in turn transitioned to owning a clothing and tailor shop. David followed where demand allowed him to continue his business ventures; as he ran clothing store after clothing store, he fostered an interest in the newfound technology of moving pictures.
In the early 1900s, David invested in saloons and later opened his first theatre with a loan from a dancer, Hansine Campen, the woman he would later marry. While it was not smooth sailing, David and Hansine traveled around Alaska, showcasing moving pictures as they went, including travels through Southeast Alaska, leading to the establishment of Gross Alaska Inc.’s current theatres in Juneau and Ketchikan.
We are proud to still be a part of these communities for over 125 years! The theatres are currently owned and operated by the 4th generation and we are happy to continue the family legacy by providing family entertainment to Southeast Alaska!