Known Years of Operation

Mar 8, 1913 - Jun 30, 1915

Number of Seats



William J. Albert

Additional Facts

  • Formerly the U-GO, later the Empire
IT theater opens, 1913
Medford Mail Tribune, Mar. 8, 1913, p. 6. Historic Oregon Newspapers.

The IT theater opened in March 1913 in the space formerly occupied by the U-GO on W. Main St. in downtown Medford, Oregon. William J. Albert owned and managed the theater during its two-year stint. The advertisements in the Medford Mail Tribune nevertheless referred to the theater as a collective “we."

Ads for IT were hip and sly, like this pared down item that appeared in the local newspaper a few days before the theater officially opened.

Ad for the IT theater, 1913
Medford Mail Tribune, Mar. 3, 1913, p. 2. Historic Oregon Newspapers.

Ads for the U-GO were still appearing in the Medford Mail Tribune in early March when this news item appeared, 

Mysterious ads around town for the new IT theater, 1913
Mysterious promotions for the new IT theater. Medford Mail Tribune, Mar. 6, 1913, p. 4. Historic Oregon Newspapers.

The theater ends each newspaper advertisement with the phrase “10 cents, always 10 cents” to drive home its message of value. In many of their newspaper advertisements, they advertise that “children [are] admitted free with parents” (as seen at right).

The IT was sold in 1915 and became the Empire.

Children free at the IT theater, 1913
“Children admitted free with parent.” Medford Mail Tribune, Oct. 3, 1913.
IT theater ad, 1914
Always 10 cents at the IT. Medford Mail Tribune, Nov. 6, 1914, p. 4. Historic Oregon Newspapers.


Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of the IT theater location, 1911
Location of the IT theater, 126 W. Main St., Medford, OR. Digital Sanborn Maps, Medford, Oregon, 1911, Sheet 15.


One interesting promotional strategy to bring in audiences and to combat a local fly problem was to offer a free movie ticket for an envelope containing 50 dead flies (see Michael Aronson's "Swatting Flies and Winning Chicken's" chapter in his book Nickelodeon City for more discussion about this and other novel promotional stunts).

Admission with dead flies at the IT, 1914
Medford Mail Tribune, Mar. 17, 1914, p. 2. Historic Oregon Newspapers.


Go to IT, 1913
Medford Mail Tribune, Apr. 4, 1913, p. 4. Historic Oregon Newspapers.