The Whiteside opened with The Old Homestead. The theater was mainly built for cinema, though there were also live productions that were presented on stage. (1)
Since the Whiteside Brothers were such well known and successful businessmen in Corvallis at the time, the Whiteside Theatre was already seen by everyone as a huge success before it even fully opened. During and shortly after the opening, the newspapers were filled with tie-ins of local companies promoting both themselves and the new theater in the newspapers. The below advertisement is from Builders Supply Company promoting “Face Brick,” the brick used to build the beautiful Whiteside Theatre, which “looks rich enough to be a million dollar building.” (2)
Designed as a “movie palace,” costing over $100,000 to create and easily becoming the largest, most opulent theater in town, dwarfing all other auditoriums (the Majestic became the second largest theater in town, with 435 fewer seats). (3)
On the 19th of October, 1927, a fire destroyed the interior of the theater. Everyone in the theater at the time (roughly 50 patrons) managed to escape safely. Fortunately, the fire department was across the street and the fireman were able to put out the fire. However, the theater suffered over $50,000 in damage. The interior of the theater was completely remodeled soon after, with a brand new Wurlitzer organ, cove lighting and chandelier.
On December 26, 1928, the Whiteside Theatre showed the first talking film in Corvallis, Lonesome, which starred Glenn Tyron and Barbara Kent. It was advertised as “a perfect talking picture” – “Talk where talking is needed, silence where silence is golden.”