SE Milwaukie Avenue, c1930

We’re looking south down SE Milwaukie Avenue just south of Powell Blvd in this circa 1930 photo. The Sellwood Line streetcar rails split the street and Geller’s Theater, now known as the Aladdin Theater, is on the right.

A2009-009.901 SE Milwaukie near Powell Blvd 1932(City of Portland Archives)

24 thoughts on “SE Milwaukie Avenue, c1930

  1. And in just a few short years, Deep Throat would begin its gazillion-year run at the Aladdin.

    I am so glad the theater was restored and is now a venue for somewhat more genteel art forms.

  2. I have what may seem to some a dumb question. I remember in Kansas City, MO and San Diego and Los Angeles seeing those metal, round bubble like things on the street between double and maybe sometimes beside single tracks. Can someone tell me what they were for? I seem to think they had a light on them on the side edge. Signaling system?

  3. I noticed that paving also. I assume that there was only one line until the area south became more populated and one train running down and then reversing just wasn’t enough to meet the need and so another track set was added. Wonder if there are any pictures of the old train barn that stood at SE 15th and SE Powell? It was there in the late 60’s. Fire department had a training tower close to it. Also Rose City Transit used that old barn for a while I was told.

  4. Looks to me like the sewer line was run under the track on the left and they used concrete over the top? More stable than the cobblestone?

  5. I wish City of Portland had a photo from this same spot just looking north instead and a few years earlier. Prior to the Ross Island bridge being built in 1926 the corner of Powell and Milwaukie was the center of Brooklyn and had a fountain in the center of that intersection.

  6. In the years around 1961 the Aladdin was owned by a family who were running it as an art house with foreign films. I remember being there for a remarkable Russian-made film of the Tchaikovsky opera “Eugene Onegin.” I believe the owners’ name was Maisels.

  7. I wish we could see the other side of that bump. I dimly recall flashing yellow caution lights set in the pavement like that. If that’s what is, it had thick glass on the other side and a flashing bulb inside.

  8. Well Brian, I believe you are right! And… this bump is placed a bit back from the intersection at Powell so it was an indicator to the brakeman that you better be starting the brake at that point. I have a dim memory also and if we could see the other side, I think we would see that if magnified.

  9. Hi, Could someone forward this on to Pat of Di Prima Dolci please. Pat, There is a vacant building in Lents that is the former home of Ararat Bakery. It is just north of Foster on 92nd close to I-205 exit. I have heard there are some business incentives there that are funded by the Portland Development Commission. I don’t know anything concrete about that, just from newspaper blurbs here and there. I believe the former tenant had a really large operation there. They had loading dock area in back, a bar in the front and on the north side a room suitable as a dining room or party room. Just a thought…… Carol Cima

    Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 16:21:38 +0000 To:

  10. These are the tracks of the Eastside Railway, which was the pioneer electric interurban line ( inaugurated 1893) between downtown Portland, via Hawthorn Bridge, and Oregon City/Canamah Park. Eastside Ry went through various name and owner changes and was to become in the end, a part of Portland Traction. I for one would love to see more photos of the line and especially the Sellwood car barns. For those interested in some background of the line plus other streetcar/interurban lines in the Portland area, I suggest a look here:

  11. I went with friends to the Aladdin many times during its foreign film incarnation in the early 60s, mentioned by George above. That was where I first saw The Saragossa Manuscript. It wouldn’t be available again for the public to view for 40 years.

  12. The “bump” is a red stop light with the word stop on it., you can see one in Brian’s post above. It had nothing to do with the rails and lined up with the stop sign not seen on the right.

  13. Tim, the OC car line did not always end at Canemah Park, it crossed the SP for a time and arrived on the main street of Canemah, now 99E. The crossing is in early SP time tables, I believe I have it in 1907, and I have pictures of the cars in downtown Canemah.

  14. To see the red light side of one of the center of the street stop bumps, see 50th and Powell picture below.

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