Known Years of Operation

Jan 1, 1905 - Dec 31, 1905

Number of Seats



Conducted by William Clackner, Managed by H. Revere

Due to the abundance of Penny Arcades in Portland during the early 20 century, it is difficult to determine which particular location newspapers refer to when they do not mention the specific address and/or reveal the arcade's manager. Looking at articles from 1905, bearing the previous statement mind, it seems as if the Penny Arcade located at 329 Washington Street was conducted by a man called William Clackner and managed by an H. Revere.

An article in the Oregon Daily Journal published on May 24, 1905 mentioned Clackner's Penny Arcade in context of an incident involving a girl's missing coins. It could not be determined whether or not the girl had lost five dollars in the Arcade's phonograph and moving pictures machines even after they had opened every single one. Clackner stated he'd have rather thrown a $5 coin into the street than go through all that "annoyance." (1) 

Just five days earlier, the Oregon Daily Journal had published an article about a Penny Arcade (perhaps Clackner's, but it is unknown) that was searched by Police Chief Hunt for graphic imagery. Apparently the arcade had been showing such "coarse pictures" in their machines as to ignite Portland's Board of Charities and Correction and the Children's Home of the Ladies' Relief Society, who spoke out about cheap amusement and suggestive content. (2)

The Morning Oregonian published a similarly distressing article two months previous on March 31, 1905. Detective Hawley of Portland named the Penny Arcade as "a place that should be closed, if the young women of Portland are to be properly looked after. Altogether too many young people frequent it." (3)

Other research suggests that penny arcades were often places of crime involving children, such as the incident with coarse imagery and an article that mentions the Penny Arcade located at 3rd and Burnside where the manager employed two young girls to encourage men to spend all their money by using their youthful appearance. (4)

Works Cited

  • (1) Historic Oregon Newspapers, The Oregon Daily Journal., May 24, 1905, Page 3, Image 3

    (2) Historic Oregon Newspapers, The Oregon Daily Journal., May 19, 1905, Page 3, Image 3

    (3) Historic Oregon Newspapers, The Morning Oregonian., March 31, 1905, Page 11, Image 11

    (4) Historic Oregon Newspapers, The Sunday Oregonian., January 01, 1922, Section One, Page 9, Image 9