This theater first opened its doors on March 3, 1913 as a Vaudeville venue. The first nights attractions featured singer, Mrs. Delphine Marx, along with Irish magician, Lawrence Crane.
It was sold to become apart of Marcus Loew’s chain, renaming it Marcus Loew’s Empress Theatre in August of 1914. The Oregon Sunday Journal included coupons in the newsprints for 4 consecutive days, which could be collected and redeemed for a pair of admission tickets.
The venue was bought out by Orpheum in 1915, and once again shortly after, phasing to the Hippodrome Theater.
The architect who designed and built this theater was arrested for building a balcony without a proper permit to do so. He claimed that he had been targeted because he was an non-local architect from Seattle.
Suillivan & Considine as well as the Empress Theater Company were sued by Fechheimer Estate Co for failure to vacate by the lease expiration date. The theater was holding onto the building as long as they could because they had no other venues to stage their attractions.