Edythe Katz-Yarchever came to Las Vegas in 1951 with her first husband Lloyd to manage local movie theaters leased by her family. They made waves in the city by desegregating the theaters and allowing African Americans to sit with whites. Edythe has committed her life to bettering the city of Las Vegas and established the Library for Holocaust Studies.
Edythe was born to Gertrude and Hyman Sperling in 1920. After living in Hawaii and Colorado, she moved to California in 1947 where she he met Lloyd Katz. They married in 1948. The couple moved to Las Vegas in 1951 and took over management of the Fremont, Huntridge, and Palace movie theaters. They rejected the earlier policy of segregating blacks to separate seating areas.
Once they settled in Las Vegas, Edythe became active in the community. She volunteered at local schools to help under-privileged students get tutoring. She was active in the local Jewish community. In 1976 with seed money from her mother, she founded the Library for Holocaust Studies. She also served on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Education Relating to the Holocaust.
In 1986, Lloyd Katz passed away. The Clark County School District honored their dedication to the community when they named an elementary school in their honor.
Edythe Katz married Gilbert Yarchever, an administrative law judge in 1999. He passed away in 2010. Edythe Katz-Yarchever continues to live in southern Nevada.
Photo courtesy of UNLV Special Collections.
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