The Research Process

Reflections on the process of doing research.

The Savoy Theater attracted a lot of people

For my blog post, I chose an advertisement article about the Savoy theater in Medford that the Medford Mail Tribune published on October 3, 1908. The Savoy was the second moving picture theater built right after the Bijou. It is an interesting article because it was two days after its first opening on October 1 of 1908. 

Proprietor of Dime Theater Attacked

Frank Neugebauer the proprietor and manager of the Dime Theater in Pendleton was attacked by Councilman J.T. Hinkle on Febuary 17th 1909. The main reason for this was that Frank had decided to cancel an act due to it being a very poor act. He brings up in his response that this act had previously been “chased” out of the Star theater the year before because of how bad it was. Also, he says that the act had an initial trial run and did not go well. He paid them for their nights work but refused to let them come back again.

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.

My Research on the Eagle Show Shop Theatre – Pendleton, Oregon

Nearing the border between the northern half of Oregon and the southern half of Washington state, lies Pendleton, a small city containing an equivalently small number of  inhabitants at just over 17,000 citizens.  The city center was built on the south bank of the Umatilla River, which travels east and west through the town. Pendleton takes pride in its rich agricultural and ranching history,  famously using the motto “The Real West.” 

The Historic Bend Liberty Theater

While there are many results while researching “Liberty Theater” in Bend, OR, there have been some difficulties in determining which Liberty Theater the newspapers were referring to as there have been two in Bend. One, the one I am researching, opened on July 29, 1917 and the other on April 20, 1924. The Liberty I am researching was used for films as the other Liberty was used as a performing arts theater and still is to this day.

Race, Vaudeville, and the Hood River Electric

Racist theater goers rejoiced as Walter Shay and Vern Whitcomb's Hood River based Electric Theater played host to the St. Mark's guild backed Society Vaudeville through their timeless performance of racist entertainment! 

Follow the crowd to the Star Theatre!

While conducting research on the Star Theatre in Burns Oregon, I have been challenged with the facts that Burns is a very small city, and along with that there were multiple operating theaters in Oregon that were names “Star” at the time, there were other in Astoria, Bend, Medford and many more across the State at the time. However using the historic Oregon Newspapers collection I was able to find an advertise

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.

Beginning Research on the Orpheum Theater

When I first began my research, I realized that it was a little harder than I expected. The theater I initially chose was not very big and did not last long, only being open for a year in a small town. This made it difficult to find any information about it, so I decided to switch to a different theater. I ended up on the Orpheum Theater located in Pendleton, Oregon, and open for seven years, from 1908 to 1915. The Orpheum was run by Dr. Harry A. Medernach, who had taken it over after the death of his father sometime in 1909 or after, and who eventually sold the theater in 1916.