Known Years of Operation

Jan 1, 1917 - Sep 30, 1929

Number of Seats



Henrietta B. Leiter (Mrs. Other Clarke), J. Donald Meyers, Ed H. Ford

Additional Facts

  • Later became the Granada theater

Notably, Henrietta B. Leiter (frequently referred to as "Mrs. O.C. Leiter" or "Mrs. H.B. Leiter") owned both the Star theater and Arcade theater in La Grande, both of which were purchased by J. Donald Meyers and Ed Ford. She was involved early in the La Grande film exhibition business, recognizing that the city’s important location among the state’s rail system would position it as an important site of exhibition.

Theater managers Meyers and Ford frequently wrote brief statements about pictures they screened at the Star theater. These 2-3 sentence reviews were published in Exhibitors Herald, and provide a useful source for information about the type of pictures commonly shown at the Star Theater. 

In 1922, the Star Theater showed the following pictures:

News item about the Star theater, 1917
Moving Picture Weekly, Nov. 24, 1917, p. 22. Media History Digital Library.


It is specifically worth noting that these motion pictures are all different than those that were screened at the Arcade theater, another La Grande theater managed by Meyers and Ford. It is possible that the managers took advantage of their multiple theaters to screen a wider variety of films, and potentially reach an overall wider audience by doing so.

Mr. Ford also engaged in creative promotional strategies, such as dressing up as a "Turk" and employing a "properly attired 'harem'" and driving around La Grande for a week prior to showing the film The Virgin of Stamboul (1920).

In 1917, Moving Picture Weekly reported that Mrs. O.C. Leiter–the original owner of both the Star and the Arcade–had purposely positioned the Arcade theater as an “all-feature” house, while the Star’s programming wasn’t necessarily intended to reach widespread audiences to the same degree.

In 1923, a fire in the adjacent store caused significant damage to the walls of the theater. The Star theater was condemned, and closed for repairs. It continued to operate as a silent movie theater through the fall of 1929 when it was closed and re-opened in November as the Granada theater.

Fire at the Star theater, 1923
Moving Picture World, Jan. 13, 1923, p. 136. Media History Digital Library.