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Portland Publix Theatre
Paramount Theatre

Portland Publix Theatre (1928).
Photograph: courtesy PDX History website.
Address 1037 SW Broadway (modern address)
Opening Night Seating Capacity 3036
Original Theater Owner Paramount Publix Corporation
Original Theater Architect Cornelius W. Rapp and George Leslie Rapp
Years of Operation 8 March 1928 through at least the early 1980s
1984 to the present day
Type of Musical Accompaniment Small orchestra (1928 through unknown)
Wurlitzer 4/20 theatre pipe organ, Publix 1, opus 1831 (1928 through 1960s)
Current Status Operating as performing arts venue

The Portland Publix Theatre opened in 1928, and was a first-run Paramount Publix chain venue. The opening night feature was Feel My Pulse (1928). Organist Ralph Hamilton played in addition to the orchestra at the Portland Publix Theatre on opening night. The Portland Publix became the Paramount Theatre in 1929. Organists Stanleigh Mallotte, Oliver Wallace, Don Wilkins and Iris Wilkins all performed at the Portland Publix/Paramount Theatre.

Portland’s street numbering changed in 1933. In later years, the theater was owned by Hamrick-Evergreen Theatres.

The Paramount became a performing arts venue by the 1970s, rarely exhibiting motion pictures, instead hosting many diverse popular concerts and theatrical road shows. In 1976, the Paramount Theatre was added to the National Register of Historical Places.

The theater later was refurbished and renamed the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (referred to by Portland locals as the ‘Schnitzer’) in 1984, and became the performance home of the Portland Symphony. At the time of its rechristening, the large vertical Paramount sign was changed to read “Portland.” The facility is officially part of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts.

References: Variety-19291106 p. 10 : Cinema Treasures website; Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society website : with additional information provided by Sigfried Seeliger.


Website: Portland Center for the Performing Arts

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