Known Years of Operation

Aug 10, 1938 - Feb 11, 1987

Number of Seats



Herbert Rosener

The Esquire Theatre, located on NW 23rd and Kearny St., was a favorite for the Nob Hill neighborhood in Portland, Oregon.  It was originally established in 1912 under the name “The Nob Hill Theatre” but later changed its name to Esquire in 1938 under new management. It was known as the quintessential community theatre with a clean and quiet reputation amongst patrons in Nob Hill. The theatre started with primarily showing vaudeville and silent films. Over time, they showing many classic films over the years. According to The Oregonian, in 1968, the Esquire received an exclusive deal to feature the film "The Pink Panther," which was one of the most famous comedies at the time[1]. The Esquire had various sold-out showings for the film and continued to grow in popularity as well known for businesses. According to an article written by Bill Peterson for Oregon magazine, the name “Esquire” is greatly attributed to the State Cinema 21 Theatre, which is located in Portland presently and carries a strong resemblance to the Nob Hill Theatre/ The Esquire[1]. Although the Esquire was primarily popular amongst moviegoers in the Nob Hill neighborhood, it had a tremendous impact on other theatres at this time.

Although there was an abundance of advertisements when it was under operation as the Nob Hill Theatre, the Esquire hardly published advertisements in local newspapers[2].  For example, the Esquire would commonly advertise on posters for local events in order to receive traction from the community, their affordable ticket prices, and various celebrities attending their showings[3]. Utilizing poster advertising rather than newspaper advertising allowed their audience to be more local. Since 

Works Cited

  • 1. Butler, Grant. “Film Flashback: 31 Movie Theaters from Portland's Golden Age.” Oregonlive, 23 Feb. 2017, OregonLive. 

    2. University of Oregon, Historic Oregon Newspapers. "The Oregon Daily Journal, August 16, 1914, Page 31, Image 31." Journal Print Co.

    3. Bibber, Chuck Van. “Esquire Theatre.” Cinema Treasures,

Latest Research

Located on NW 23rd and Kearny St, the Esquire theater was an entertainment staple for the Nob Hill neighborhood in Portland, Oregon.