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View of the Portland Theatre just before it opened in 1928. After about a year, the theater was sold and it was renamed the Paramount. In the mid-1980s, the Paramount was restored and renamed The Portland.

Portland's first theater, the New Market Theater at SW First between Ash and Ankeny was built in 1872 by "Captain" Ankeny. The building was remodeled into offices in the 1980s after being used as a garage and for car parts storage for nearly a century.


The Baker Theatre opened in 1901.


Cordray’s Opera House, which opened in 1889, was one of Portland’s first theaters. Patrons arrived by horse-drawn streetcars.


The Pantages Family Theatre circa 1905.

In the days before movies, theatres were home to live performances, live music, live play acting and live opera. Then came vaudeville. In the 1920s, silent movies burst upon the scene. Films became a new phenomenon. All of that changed in 1928, when Al Jolson’s “The Jazz Singer” with words and music made its debut.


A larger Pantages Theatre on Broadway and Alder streets, when Vaudeville was King, circa 1915.


The Pantages Theatre as it looked in 1915.


Nighttime view of the Orpheum Theatre in 1915. It closed April 25, 1976 when it was razed for a new Nordstrom store.


The Heilig Theatre on Broadway between Taylor and Yamhill in 1915 opened in 1911. It later became the Fox Theatre which was razed in the 1980s.


Early advertising card for the Heilig Theatre from 1907.


View of the Belasco Theatre about 1907.


The ornate Empress Grand Theatre at Washington and Park streets on January 30, 1913.


Graeper’s Egyptian Theatre on Union Avenue near Russell Street, circa 1925, which opened in 1924. It closed in 1963.


Sixth & Stark streets, Columbia Theatre on the left.


The Columbia Theatre on Sixth near Stark street circa 1915.



Gellers’s Theatre at 3017 SE Milwaukie Street, which later became the Aladdin Theatre.


The Hollywood Theatre at 41st & Sandy Boulevard, which was built by Walter Tebbetts, as it looked when it opened in 1926.


The Bagdad Theatre at 37th & Hawthorne Streets.


The Alameda Theatre at 30th and Alberta streets became the 30th Avenue Theatre in 1937.


The Alameda Theatre under construction on May 9, 1926. The Theatre closed in 1978.


The Alder Theatre sign advertises “all talking” movies.


The Broadway Theatre as it looked in 1937. A large Wurlitzer organ was installed here in 1926. The organ was moved to the Oaks Park Roller Rink in 1955. The Broadway Theatre building was demolished in 1988.


The Bob White Theatre at 65th and Foster Road.


Interior view of the Bob White Theatre.


The Rex Theatre was at Third and Morrison streets and the Capitol Theatre can be seen behind it.


Griffin’s Broadway Theatre can be seen on the right and across the street was the Paramount.

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Two interior views of The Portland (Paramount).


The Music Box Theatre was located at Broadway and Stark Street. You can see signs for The Orpheum, The Rialto Theatre and the Paramount.


Portland’s Hippodrome Theatre on Broadway as it looked when the silent version of “The Road to Ruin” was released in 1928. Some time shortly after this view, the name was changed to the “Pantages”.


The Oregon Theater which opened in 1925 at 35th and SE Division streets.




One of Portland’s most ornate theaters, Walter Tebbetts’ Oriental Theatre  at Grand and Morrison streets.


The lobby of the Oriental Theatre which was one of the most ornate theaters ever built.


View of the Liberty Theatre at Broadway and Stark Street in 1946.


View of the Blue Mouse Theatre in 1955, which was known as the Globe Theatre in earlier years.


The Vanport Theater opened Aug. 12, 1943. The town of Vanport was destroyed by a flood on May 30, 1948.


Last updated 10-17-16


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