Known Years of Operation

Apr 23, 1910 - Jul 31, 1915

Number of Seats



Martha E. Watson, Julius Goldsmith, G. Nettle, J.J. (Joseph) Bryan

Additional Facts

  • Admission varied from 5¢-25¢
  • Provided a mix of movies and vaudeville acts

Mrs. Martha E. Watson partnered with Julius Goldsmith, proprietor of a local cigar shop, to open the Folly in April 1910 (1). In a clever promotional strategy, they devised a contest to name the new theater, and "Folly" won out.

Folly theater news item, 1910
Eugene Guard, April 18, 1910, p. 8.

The Folly provided a mix of movies and vaudeville acts in its programming. One night included a musical program by MISS BARROWS and MISS GOODHUE, “the silver-voiced singers,” along with Biograph and Selig short films, a Mary Pickford/D.W. Griffith short feature called “White Roses,” and four other short films.

Admission varied from 5¢-25¢, depending on the content of the show and whether it was a matinee or evening. The program changed daily; “WE DON’T RUN REPEATERS” promised one ad from 1910. The Folly ran regular ads in the Eugene Daily Guard. The promotions boasted of excellent ventilation and daily disinfection during the summer months, and “a warm and comfortable” house during the winter.

In June 1915, J.J. (Joseph) Bryan purchased a half-ownership in the Folly with Mrs. Watson. Bryan was the former owner of the Grand, Electric, and Bell theaters in Springfield, and the Aloha, (later the Savoy,) in Eugene. He and Mrs. Watson remodeled and expanded the Folly, taking over the cigar store in order to install additional seating—bringing the capacity up to 675. They also created a large, dramatic arch over the theater entrance, and ordered a pipe organ. All together, the renovations cost between $4,000-$5,000. The newly renovated theater was re-opened to Eugene movie fans in July 1915 as the Oregon theater.

Folly theater news item, Lane County News, 1915
Lane County News, June 10, 1915, p. 1. Historic Oregon Newspapers.
Folly reopens as Oregon theater, 1915
Eugene Daily Guard, July 8, 1915, p. 6. Google News.


800 block of Willamette Street, Eugene, Oregon, 1910
Eugene Loan & Savings Bank Building, southeast corner of Willamette Street and 8th Avenue, Eugene, Oregon, 1910. The Folly opened in this space in April 1910. Lane County Historical Museum, #GN958.


Map of 572 Willamette St., Eugene, Oregon, 1912.
572 Willamette St., Eugene, 1912. Digital Sanborn Maps.


Works Cited

  • 1. "New Theater Will Open Saturday." Morning Register (Eugene, OR), April 22, 1910, p. 5.