Known Years of Operation

Aug 16, 1911 - Oct 30, 1920

Number of Seats



Frank A. Gumm

Crystal Theatre was announced to open August 16, 1911 by “The Oregon Daily Journal” (1). Located at 125 Killingsworth Ave in Portland, Oregon seemed like a your everyday neighborhood theatre. In the advertisement of the opening, Crystal Theatre promised to be the second “Star” theater meaning that it promises to be just as “beautiful, modernly equipped and well ventilated and splendidly arranged” (1). The theatre cost about $15,000 and the manager, Frank A. Gumm. Promised to run the theater exactly along the lines of the Star theatre (1). This meant having Jean Wilson as the vocal attraction and having a wonderful musical team accompanying his performances (1). 

The theatre used many advertisements in newspapers like “The Oregon Daily Journal,” where they showed when events and performances were taking place. One advertisement from “The Oregon Daily Journal,” in 1920 had performances like “What Happened to Jones,” “The Feud,” which was a comedy and was written under the title for the community to know (2). This advertisement alone consisted of several comedy acts and it can be assumed that this was to appeal to many audiences looking for a light hearted and enjoyable act to go to. In this same newspaper publication, which was titled “Pretty Outside Suburbs Attracting Residents Who Combine City Work and Rural Life,” wrote about the Crystal Theatre and other local businesses like the J.K. Case & Son grocers, and Fryers Pharmacy, who were all working together to hold a showing of the returns of the election at the theatre (2). The Crystal theatre played a big role with other local businesses in this small, pretty outside suburb town of Portland in hosting events for the community. With numerous advertisements about the performances going on in this theatre, some being “the most thrilling pictures presented” that year, 1911, such as “The Special Messenger,” Crystal theatre was doing very well for themselves (3). Another performance included a dance by Katherine Smith, and this performance was done at the theatre for the Red Cross benefit entertainment (4). 

A Sanborn Fire Insurance Map was found for 1924 and it displayed a movie theatre in the place where the Crystal Theatre was in the 1920's. However 125 Killingsworth no longer existed on this map it could be assumed that two stores next to each other became one larger movie theatre after the Crystal theatre closed. Around this theatre there are homes, drug stores, restaurants. 

Works Cited

    1. “New Films Shown at Theatre Friday,” Oregon Daily Journal, August 16, 1911: 7.
    2. "Albania All-Stars To Meet Beavers," Oregon Daily Journal, October 30, 1920: 5.
    3. “Stageland,”Oregon Daily Journal,August 20, 1911: 32. 
    4. “New Offerings on Screen and Stage,” Oregon Daily Journal, March 18, 1919: 4.