Oriental Theater Opening, 1927

VP fan Bud Holland attended the “surplus auction” about a week before the Oriental Theater fell to the wrecking ball in 1970 where he picked up a number of papier-mâché urns, cast-iron wall sconces, etc. He’s since sold most of the items but still has the program and an entry pass distributed during the theater’s grand opening December 31, 1927. Thanks again, Bud!

oriental theater opening 1927 01

oriental theater opening 1927 02

oriental theater pass(City of Portland Archives)

4 thoughts on “Oriental Theater Opening, 1927

  1. My dad went to see the movie Frankenstein in the Oriental Theater when it opened. He said they had ambulances in front to carry a patron to the hospital in case they had a heart attack. He said the movie scared him so bad that he ran home in the middle of the street in broad daylight. When I was a kid he wouldn’t let me watch it for many years. When I finally saw it I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. Went to the Oriental Theater many times before they tore it down, it was really a shame they did. IMHO I thought it was more worthy of saving than the Paramount.

  2. Although the Oriental was known as a movie theatre, it was built to handle legitimate theatre. When we did the Gilbert & Sullivan season there in the summer of 1959, we musicians were seated in a regular orchestra pit with an elevator mechanism. My father, who was in the cast, noticed a quick-change curtain in the wings, where an actor could change costume quickly without going back to the dressing room.

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