Known Years of Operation

Aug 13, 1937 - Present

Number of Seats



Robert L. Lippert Theatres Inc., Coming Attractions Theatres

The Varsity theater, located in the small town of Ashland, Oregon, has continued to be a necessity for movie patrons from its first opening in 1937 to the present day.  Its credibility and reputation in the city of Ashland have allowed it to become a favorite amongst the community. The Varsity theater has shown an array of content due to its long run as a movie theatre. In its early advertisements, it showed films such as Kind Hearts and Coronets. This film was a part of the Varsity’s “Curtain at Eight Thirty” promotion, which was targeted to the “discriminating film patron”(1). This promotion showed a series of “off-beat” motion pictures that welcomed a diverse array of movie-goers. The Varsity’s dedication to creating a theatre environment that welcomes everyone, even the discrimination film patrons, speaks volumes to why their theatre has lasted as long as it has. Currently, the Varsity shows predominantly art and independent films as well as box office hits (2). Their willingness to change and adapt in order to please the film patrons of Ashland is why the Varsity has become such a household name for their community.

The Varsity didn’t particularly need to advertise for themselves in order to remain a successful business, their presence in the Ashland community allowed them to gain a lot of traction in local newspapers and articles without having to pay for advertising. For example, In Rogue News, their theatre was advertised due to the fact that they were hosting an event for Ashland High School at their theater(3).  Another example is shown in an advertisement for Elmart Music Shop. Their ad states, “We have moved across the street. Between Varsity Theatre and Mark Antony Hotel” (4). Although this doesn’t seem like purposeful advertising, the Varsity is still getting its name in local newspapers due to the familiarity of their theatre and its location. It causes people to see the Varsity as a strong presence throughout their city.

Works Cited

  • 1. Historic Oregon Newspapers, University of Oregon Library. “Rogue News, December 13, 1968, Image 3.” Ashland, Oregon, Journal Print Co. 

    2. Cinema Treasures, Varsity Theatre.

    3. Historic Oregon Newspapers, University of Oregon Library. “Rogue News, June 04, 1969, Page seven, Image 7.” Ashland, Oregon, Journal Print Co. 

    4. Historic Oregon Newspapers, University of Oregon Library. “Rogue News, June 04, 1969, Page Eight, Image 8.” Ashland, Oregon, Journal Print Co.