Known Years of Operation

Apr 8, 1910 - Feb 6, 1911

Number of Seats



Harry Hyde, J.B.Anderson, J.D.Harrison

The Electric Theatre had its grand opening on April 8th, 1910 by Harry Hyde in Albany, Oregon. Hyde originally had worked at a picture house for several years in Portland, but returned to his hometown of Albany to eventually open the 3rd theatre there; Hyde was in charge of the machine while his wife was in charge of the ticket office; admission was 5 cents1. But, what is a grand opening without a little drama? On the grand opening night of the Electric Theatre, the lens was stolen, proving the situation to be dire. But someone who was meant to be his competitor, became an ally; Mr.Stuart of Dreamland, a theatre next to The Electric, was kind enough to give Mr.Hyde a lens and the grand opening was once again on2. Half a year later in October 1910, the Electric underwent new ownership by J. B. Anderson3; between October to February 1911, the theatre had been temporarily closed, where it then underwent one more change of ownership to its final owner of J.D. Harrison. The Electric was eventually sold by Harrison to Messrs. Al. G. Perry and I. G. Richardson, because of his wife's declining health; the theatre became The Cassino, which ended the Electrics' run to just under a year4.

The Electric theatre was set apart from its competitors because it would be straight pictures, without vaudeville; interestingly enough, they had an ad for enquiring about a touring car at The Electric theatre5. This theatre not only exhibited a variety of films for all audiences, but also lectures, comedy shows, boxing fights and more; they showed films like Twixt Loyalty and Love to appeal to women and comedy shows like Australian Gold Fields and Keep Smiling6; some of the lectures exhibited were on the Panama Canal by Wayne O. Adams7Mr.Harrison even got the world's champion one legged buck and wing dancer as well as high kicker, Chas Bennington as an extra attraction of the week8. For fight pictures, they had advertisements for the Jeffries-Johnson fight. But on the night that thereof was planned to be shown, the Chief of Police Munkers ordered them out (which I'm  assuming is referencing the proprietor, Mr.Harrison), or to be arrested under state law; Harrison was taken back to the agent's hotel, and decided not to show the fight at the Electric9. Now if that's not drama, then I don't know what is.

The Electric was promoted mostly through newspaper ads, likely why it had undergone three different ownerships in the span of less than a year. Though, the theatre did promote a contest with a prize of $200. The contest required viewers to watch a feature film called Romantic Redskins and then write a review to the Independent Western Film Exchange of Portland, Oregon6. Although this ad for the contest was posted on February 4th, 1911, which was two days before it was sold to Messrs. Al. G. Perry and I. G. Richardson and no longer was The Electric, so it's unknown if the contest was still recognized by the new owners or disregarded4. Sadly, because the Electric Theatre's lifespan was so short, there's not much else to report. Though it goes without saying to note the time period and the institutional and societal mannerisms that occur towards people of color, which is far from exempt during the nickelodeon era.

Works Cited

  • 1. The Electric Theatre, advertisement, The Albany Democrat, March 25, 1910: 3.

    2. The Electric Theatre, advertisement, The Albany Democrat, April 8, 1910: 1.

    3. The Electric Theatre, advertisement, The Albany Democrat, October 14, 1910: 7.

    4. "Electric Theater Under New Management Now", The Albany Evening Herald, February 6, 1911.

    5. The Electric Theatre, advertisement, The Albany Democrat, December 16, 1910: 2.

    6. The Electric Theatre, advertisement, The Albany Evening Herald, February 4, 1911.

    7. The Electric Theatre, advertisement, The Albany Democrat, November 11, 1910: 5.

    8. The Electric Theatre, advertisement, The Albany Democrat, November 18, 1910: 1.

    9. "No Fight in Albany", The Albany Democrat, January 13, 1911: 3.