Promotional Strategies

The ways theater owners promoted their programs and venues to audiences

Visit a Movie Occasionally: Advertising Slogans

I love the catchy phrases and slogans featured on many theater ads from this time period, as if clever wording will be enough to make someone buy a ticket at that theater over another one with more pedestrian advertisements. Here's a sample of some of my favorites:

IF LAUGHING HURTS YOU STAY AWAY (Bell Theatre, Springfield, Oregon, 1916)

Gem Theater, St Helens

The St. Helens Mist was one of the primary newspaper companies in St. Helens in the early 20th century.  After scouring articles that were available through the UO library website, I was able to find many instances of documented male managers and owners of theaters in the city of St.

Mondale Theatre, Klamath Falls Research Progress

The following image is an advertisement taken out of the Evening Herald on January 13th, 1920, page 5. I found it noteworthy that the advertisement stated that the show would be free.  It explains in the except below that they wanted to make the admission free to show that they had a quality moving picture. At this time there was certainly a good amount a exclusivity when it came to certain activities, so making this showing free is quite astonishing considering many higher class people were involved in seeing theatres during this time.

Reopening of Dreamland

On Tuesday, October 12, 1909, the Dreamland Theater was under the new management of J.A. Cooper and his brother Ross. In order to establish the theater, make it well known amongst the people again, and also have it live up to its name. The brothers decided to host a large event that would draw people back into the theater and showcase its new found extravagance, while also bringing a piece of Southern California to Salem, Oregon.

The Pioneer of Moving Pictures

For Pendleton, Oregon, "the Pastime Theatre is the pioneer moving picture house in the city.” Besides being able to see a moving picture, the place in which you see it has a profound effect on the viewing experience overall. According to Ina Rae Hark, “Many aspects of exhibition sites work subtly to construct he viewing experience…” (Hark 2).

Ye Liberty Theatre in the Weekly Chemawa American

Ye Liberty Theater ad, 1911
Weekly Chemawa American, July 14, 1911.

At left is an advertisement for the program ‘The Best Our Ambition’ at the Ye Liberty Theatre in