Oriental Theater, 1969

The Oriental Theater was described as having “wildly exotic, almost surreal appearance of the auditorium and other interior public spaces.” On SE Grand between Belmont and Morrison, it was built in 1927 at the same time as the extant Weatherly Building just to its north. As was so often the case in Portland, it was demolished in 1970 to make way for a parking lot.

(Library of Congress Archives)

5 thoughts on “Oriental Theater, 1969

  1. Speak of the devil! It was a huge theater. Very dark inside. It had a gothic feel to it. I don’t know if its airconditioning wasn’t working but when my class of ’67 graduated there it was styfling hot & Archbishop Dwyer was so long winded we sat and sweated for an hour! Really sad to when it was torn down.

  2. Thanks for posting those great photos, alyson. It really was a magnificent theater & I know what you mean about wanting to cry. We’ve torn down so much in Portland.

  3. Wow…

    Never saw that, thanks for the post. Can’t believe how many treasures we’ve lost along the way. And what could have possibly been going through the heads of those who okayed the demolition of places like this?

    I spent all morning yesterday wandering along SW 1st below Arthur, searching for pieces of Old South Portland. What I did find only made me more apoplectic over what we knocked down and paved over.

  4. This was a great theater, large and was the first place that first run movies appeared after showing at the major theaters downtown.

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