The Majestic Theater and the Development of Ontario, OR

I began my research by using the Historic Oregon Newspaper database with the keywords "majestic" and "theater" in the location of Ontario, Oregon in order to find results limited to theaters with this title, but was met with only few results. I refined the search by changing the spelling of "theater" to "theatre," and found that this was a successful refinement as my search yielded over 100 results instead of only 4 results from my previous search. As I began to read through the results I noticed that the results were still mostly from later years of operation, the late 10's and early 20's. So I began to see if there was an earlier year I could access a result from with ease by changing the high constraint on the year to an earlier date. I began with the year 1914 and added one year at a time (1915, 1916...) until I found my first successful result in 1917 which gave insight on the development of the city at the time.


Ontario Argus, 08/30/1917, p1
Commencement of cement walkway Ontario Argus, 08/30/1917, p1


According to this article on page 1 of the Ontario Argus Newspaper on August 30th, 1917, at this time the city of Ontario, Oregon had begun to work on the second unit of cement sidewalks in the same area of the city where the Majestic Theatre resided. I continued my search by limiting my search results to articles between the year 1918 and 1922 to see if I could find more information about the theater and its location by limiting the results to later years. I eventually found this article detailing that the city was planning to celebrate the completion of their first paved road and the Majestic was going to be involved.


Celebration of Ontario's First Paved Road, Ontario Argus, 10/28/1920, p. 17
Celebration of Ontario's First Paved Road, Ontario Argus, 10/28/1920, p. 17


According to the Ontario Argus the celebration consisted of the first use of the highway, a parade, a concert by the high school band, a dance, and feature films shown for free at the town’s two theaters: the Majestic and the Dreamland. These articles show us that in these few years this small town was making large progress on their infrastructure and that their theaters were an important part of their community.