Known Years of Operation

Jan 7, 1911 - Apr 30, 1917

Number of Seats



C.E. Oliphant, F.A. Lacey, A.A. Miller, S.C. Ayers, Ted Howland, George Maple , Roseburg Amusement Co.

Additional Facts

  • Became the Liberty theater in 1917

The Palace theater opened in January 1911 when the first floor of the existing Marks building, which stood on the corner of Jackson and Washington streets, was remodeled. When the theater opened, it had 500 seats and a classic front with a stage, balcony, and organ (1)

From the ad at right, it is clear that there was much variety in the Palace theater's programming, including comedy films and live performances. The theater advertises a two-reel film (E. Lubin’s The Power of Silence) in conjunction with a program of four other films. Interestingly, the director’s name is listed for this film, but the theater simply provides the title and a description for other films in the ad.

The Palace went through a number of different owners and managers as different people tried to make a go of it in Roseburg's downtown entertainment landscape. Six months after opening, a large ad appeared in the local newspaper announcing new ownership. In May 1917, the theater changed hands again and re-opened as the Liberty.

Ownership of the Palace theater, 1911
Roseburg Review, June 6, 1911, p. 1.


Palace theater ad, 1913
Roseburg Review, Mar. 12, 1913, p. 6. 


By 1916, audiences had become intrigued by movie stars. Theaters took advantage of the star system by including names of popular actors in their advertisements when their films came to town. Here, the Palace theater promotes that they are showing a Charlie Chaplin “two-reel famous [comedy],” yet the ad does not even say which film is playing. This reiterates the promotional trends regarding stars in the early 1900s.

Often, early theaters helped promote other local businesses. In this newspaper advertisement, the Palace theater is listed as a place where postage stamps were sold. As this ad was run in December, perhaps the theater hoped patrons would come in to purchase stamps to send their holiday cards and also decide to watch a film.

Stamps for sale at the Palace theater, 1914
Roseburg Review, Dec. 26, 1914, p. 2.


Charlie Chaplin at the Palace theater, 1916
Roseburg Review, Feb. 12, 1916, p. 6.


Works Cited

  • 1.  Goeres-Gardner, Diane L. Roseburg. Arcadia Pub., 2010.