Known Years of Operation

Sep 16, 1921 - Nov 30, 1924

Number of Seats

450 (1)


Sidney Trask (2), L.J. Strong (2)

The Corvallis Independent Order of Odd Fellow (I.O.O.F.) built the Blue Mouse theater for the Blue Mouse Company in 1921. According to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, the building was very fire proof, with walls of concrete and brick and a metal ceiling. The projection booth was constructed of hollow tiles and had an automatic fire door. An engineer at Oregon State College (later Oregon State University) designed the ventilation system, which reportedly refreshed the theater's air every four minutes. In the summer the air was forced through running water before it entered the theater in order to cool it and to be "thoroughly cleansed of all impurities [as] it enters fresh and cool" (3).

While the Blue Mouse was under construction, manager Sidney Trask claimed that he planned to run a “somewhat different theatre,” proposing to show “only the best pictures.” Prior the opening show, the well known and beloved Portland Organ played a musical program intended to showcase all the possibilities of the new theater (4).

The Blue Mouse theater of Corvallis was created as a copy of the famous Blue Mouse in Seattle, Washington. It was described as having a cozy, comfortable atmosphere, but also used hired ushers to add a sense of importance and prestige (see below).

Classified ad for the Blue Mouse theater, Sept. 1, 1921
Corvallis Gazette-Times, Sept. 1, 1921, p. 7.

Among the notable promotional strategies for the Blue Mouse, the Corvallis Gazette-Times hosted a “Knowledge Competition” in which they provided the reader with clues about different well-known people in Corvallis, and the first prize winner won tickets to the Blue Mouse theater, with the second, third, and fourth place winners receiving various other gifts from other businesses in Corvallis (5).

Works Cited

    1. “New Movie House is To Be Named Blue Mouse,” Corvallis Gazette-Times, May 7, 1921, p. 1.
    2. C.E. Ingalls, "Corvallis Provided with Excellent Theatres," Corvallis Gazette-Times, Jan. 1, 1923, p. 17.
    3. ibid.
    4. “Portland Organ – 1st Here Tonite,” Corvallis Gazette-Times, Sept. 15, 1921, p. 1.
    5. Claude S. Moss, “Who’s Who and Why in Corvallis,” Corvallis Gazette-Times, Jan. 20, 1923, p. 4.