Salem's Elsinore Theater

Sprinkled throughout the state are historic theaters that illustrate times gone by. Through careful restoration and some local TLC, these establishments have been renovated and refurbished for a second life. Take a drive to one of these iconic Oregon theaters.

The Liberty Theater in downtown Astoria on the Oregon Coast is one of the last standing models of 1920s vaudeville motion picture palaces. Its ornamental structure, distinctive moldings and delicate lighting have been restored and updated for modern use. Get a ticket for one of the classic films they feature weekly.

When the Eltrym Theater in Eastern Oregon‘s Baker City opened its doors in the summer of 1940, it received telegrams of well wishes from luminaries like Cary Grant and Bob Hope. Its debut film, “Ghost Breakers,” starred Mr. Hope. Today the Art Deco theater still shows modern films and thanks to two historic renovations, it added two new screens but maintained its mid-century charm.

Designed to resemble the castle in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Elsinore Theater in the Willamette Valley first opened its doors in May of 1926. It hosted Vaudeville Theater, silent films, live stage shows and modern film. In 1980, after years of neglect, a threat to turn the historic landmark into a parking lot motivated residents to save the sacred space and in 2002 the two-year “Return to Grandeur” project renovated the majestic theater to its original splendor. Today the venue hosts classic films, silent movies and live concerts.

The Rogue Theater in Southern Oregon opened its doors in 1938, during the heart of the Great Depression, showing the latest of the silver screen. It endured decades of prosperity and then economic decline, closing its doors in 1999. A year later it was renovated and reopened as a regional non-profit performing arts center. Today its Grants Pass’ most prominent historical building, its Art Deco exterior and glowing neon marquee is a local attraction, hosting international music artists and speakers year-round.

*Image Courtesy of Travel Salem

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  1. Kate says…

    The Ross Ragland Theater, built in 1941, is a classic Art Deco movie palace. For the past 20 years, it has operated as a 800-seat performing arts center in downtown Klamath Falls. Throughout the year, it offers audiences a wide-range of artistic and cultural events. It is a gem!

    Written on February 19th, 2010 / Flag this Comment
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