Known Years of Operation

Aug 5, 1913 - Present

Number of Seats

800

Owner/Managers

Charles E. Small, Whiteside Brothers, Corvallis Amusement Co.

The Majestic opened in the summer of 1913, a picture palace with 800 seats (1). The original theater owner was Charles E. Small, who eventually began a partnership with the Whiteside brothers. The partnership was mutually dissolved in January 1917, leaving the Whiteside brothers to be the sole proprietors of the Corvallis Amusement Company, which included both the Majestic Theatre and the Crystal Theatre (2).

Majestic theater ownership news item, 1917
Moving Picture World, Jan. 27, 1917, p. 574. Media History Digital Library.

Larger and grander than any of the other storefront operations in 1913, people traveled from far away just to come see a show at the Majestic. The theater was also home to live theatrical productions, opera, and vaudeville shows, as well as motion pictures. When films and live performances were occupying the theater together, a film would show at night and the live performers, occasionally students of the high school or college, would wait for the film to end and then immediately take down the screen and erect the set in preparation for their performance the following day. It would then in turn be deconstructed following the performance so the regular movie showings could continue. (3)

Majestic theater opens, 1913
Corvallis Gazette-Times, July 31, 1913, p. 1. Newspapers.com.

 

One of the programming strategies the Majestic used included advertisements such as this one which states, "Friday Matinee: For women only." and later adds, "No men will be admitted." The upper advertisement claims that Edna Wallace Hopper is 62 years old but looks no more than 19, and is there in person to answer questions about how she "preserves her youth." By bringing a well-known star to the theater, it helped attract an audience that might not normally attend the matinee.

Majestic theater news item, 1917
Corvallis Gazette-Times, Sept. 3, 1917, p. 4. Newspapers.com.

In 1917, there was a special election for measure 109, which was proposed to try and outlaw movies on Sundays. The Whiteside brothers, owning multiple movie theaters in Corvallis including the Majestic, published advertisements urging voters to vote NO on measure 109. This particular advertisement claims that the Whiteside brothers plan to show only the best films on Sunday nights, and if this measure was to take away Sunday movie times then the town would miss out of these grand films. (4)

 

Majestic theater ad, 1922
Corvallis Gazette-Times, Dec. 21, 1922, p. 8. Newspapers.com.

 

Majestic theater ad, 1922
Corvallis Gazette-Times, Dec. 21, 1922, p. 8. Newspapers.com.

 

Majestic theater ad, 1917
Corvallis Gazette-Times, Apr. 16, 1917, p. 4. Newspapers.com.

 

Works Cited

    1. "Corvallis Provided with Excellent Theatres," Corvallis Gazette-Times, January 1, 1923, page 17.
    2. "Dissolution Notice," Corvallis Gazette-Times, January 2, 1917, page 4.
    3. Corvallis Gazette-Times, August 5, 1913, page 1.
    4. "Special Election," Corvallis Gazette-Times, September 3, 1917, page 4.

Latest Research

On May 24, 1918, an advertisement was placed in the Corvallis Gazette for the upcoming show, The Seven Swans, to be played at the Majestic theater in