Known Years of Operation

Jan 20, 1910 - Mar 20, 1915

Number of Seats



People's Amusement Company

The Odeon Theatre in Portland, Oregon, took the place of the previously known as the National Theatre and was located on Seventh Street, near Washington.(1) The first newspaper ad promoting the switch from the National to the Odeon was printed in May 1910. This ad marked the earliest known date of programs under the theatre's new name, the Odeon. The Odeon Theatre was known when it opened as one of Portland's "Big Four" theaters. All four theater houses were under the management of The People's Amusement Company and were marketed as the city's biggest and best places to view motion pictures. The other three theaters included in Portland's "Big Four" were the Star, the Oh Joy and the Arcade.(4) The Big Four theaters in Portland were all known for showcasing a variety of unique performance art including film screenings of different genres, musical/vocal performances, all-day feature shows, etc. The Star Theatre was known as being the "biggest and best" of the Big Four theatres in Portland at the time.(5)

Other than moving pictures, the Odeon was known for other forms of live entertainment and spectacle as well, including lectures from prominent society members. One of these events included an ex-convict named George Sontag who was freshly-released from prison for an infamous train car robbery who lectured at the Odeon in an "exceedingly interesting" program that included backgrounds of "beautiful illustrations" warning spectators of the evils of careers in robbery and theft. (3) Just as other prominent theatre's under The People's Amusement Company's production like the Oh Joy, the Odeon Theatre was known for showing a variety of different genres in film screenings. In June of 1910, the program featured a Western Drama, an Industrial Feature, a Pathe Feature and a Musical Performance in Vocal Form. 

Oregon Daily Journal. People's Amusement Company Listings. June 26th, 1910. P.1.
First Run Pictures at the Big Four in Portland. Oregon Daily Journal, June 26, 1910. p. 1. Historic Oregon Newspapers.

Works Cited


    (2) Oregon Daily Journal. Moving Pictures from The People's Amusement Company's Big Four Theatres. May 13th, 1910. P1. 

    (3) Oregon Daily Journal. Reformed Train Robber Lectures at The Odeon. May 23, 1910. P1.

    (4) Oregon Daily Journal. Motion Picture Houses. June 5, 1910. P1.

    (5) Oregon Daily Journal. The People's Amusement Company's Big Four Theatres. April 1st 1911. P1.