Orpheum Theater, 1976

The theater opened on the corner of SW Broadway and Yamhill as the Empress Theater in 1913, was later renamed the Hippodrome Theater and remodeled to this configuration as the Pantages Theater in 1926. It was finally renamed Orpheum Theater in 1929. Here you see trucks set to haul away demolition debris in 1976 as the block is leveled to make way for the Nordstom building.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

7 thoughts on “Orpheum Theater, 1976

  1. When this photo was taken, I was working for a guy that was salvaging the mahogany moldings out of the upstairs offices. (They are now in Cassidy’s restaurant). As we were finishing up, I wanted a souvenir for myself, so one of the demo guys helped me pull the Orpheum Building bronze letters you see in the photo just above the blue and white truck. I still have them. It was pretty weird wandering through that building as it was partially demolished. I remember standing in the back of the theater looking at most of the wall with the viewing screen knocked down. It was a little strange and sad seeing daylight where people once watched movies.

  2. I wonder if anyone has the original marquees to the Hippodrome, Pantages, or Empress? Or even the one in the photo, for that matter. I’d at least hope someone had the chance to grab it! Perhaps in a sign yard somewhere…

  3. I was also inside the Orpheum theatre picking up souveniers here and there while it was being demolished. If I remember correctly I found my way into the Orpheum through a convoluted passageway from Royal Building next door. What a rush it was being on the Broadway side in the lobby and at the mezenene level and second floor while the wrecking ball was crashing into the auditorium portion along the Yamhill Street or Park Avenue side of the building. I was trying to figure out how to remove some concrete statuary in one of hallway alcoves but I had no tools with me so I settled for some other trinkets. The things I managed to grab, including several ballistrudes, are now long gone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s