Known Years of Operation

Dec 14, 1908 - Dec 31, 1911

Number of Seats



T.C. (Thomas) Swinney
Bell Theatre, Eugene, Oregon, 1909
Bell Theatre, 455 Willamette St., Eugene, Oregon, 1909. Image courtesy of Lane County History Museum (item GN837).


The Bell Theatre was in operation at 455 Willamette St. from 1908-1911 with T.C. (Thomas) Swinney as proprietor. The theater was in a long, narrow space measuring 32’ wide and about 78’ long. It is unknown how many seats it had.

The Bell ran regular ads in the Eugene Daily Guard to promote its programming. Along with short films, the Bell hosted vaudeville with a live orchestra, and novelty acts, such as “Consul Jr. the Educated Chimpanzee.” The Bell showed a popular boxing film in April 1910, the Nelson-Wolgast fight, a one-hour show that ran continuously throughout the afternoon and evening. Admission was still the usual 10¢ for this special attraction (reduced from 25¢). T.C. Swinney even splurged on a full-page ad in the newspaper for the show.