The Pastime Theater in La Grande Oregon began as a place to show second-run films alongside musical acts. La Fontaine and Dozier, the original proprietors, were known for having films running at all times, no matter how many people were in attendance. The theater began as being known for its comedic showings and eventually developed into a destination for the public to watch first-run feature films, sporting events, live musical acts, Vaudeville, and circus shows.
One of the most notable happenings related to the theater is how many times its ownership changed hands. The Pastime saw new owners six times between April 1908 and November 1908. Along with each ownership change came some sort of alteration in the theater's programming or amenities. Such changes included the installation of an inclined floor, improvements to the exterior lighting, and a larger focus on integrating acts other than films to promote the theater rather than relying solely on newspaper advertisements. More details about The Pastime's ownership changes can be found in the image gallery below.
The public's perception of The Pastime in La Grande was overwhelmingly positive with various newspaper articles naming it as the best theater in town. This was due to not only the exceptional films shown there, but also the wide variety of entertaining shows put on at the venue. A staple of the Pastime was Robert Burton, a singer who routinely shows up as a key aspect of the Pastime's appeal in newspaper articles praising the theater's programming. Apart from one instance of films not arriving at the venue on time, The Pastime was a exceptionally well ran and a high quality, memorable experience for the people of La Grande.