Known Years of Operation

Jun 20, 1907 - Apr 10, 1909

Number of Seats



Mrs. M. E. Watson, Messrs. T. B. Morgan, H. E. Perry
Opening remarks for the Vaudette.
Daily Oregon Statesman, June 2, 1907, p6,



     The significance behind this theater is that it was the first of its kind in Salem. A town where multiple theaters already existed and were sure to provide some competition. During a time where movie-going was already gaining some traction, the Vaudette provided more accessibility to those who could not otherwise afford more expensive forms of entertainment. Advertisements for this theater would be placed next to several other promotions for the town's remaining amusement destinations, which can be seen to the right. However, in the face of competition, the Vaudette and the Dreamland theater were owned by the same woman, which provided some intriguing promotional tactics. Watson would choose different forms of entertainment for each theater, but urge readers to come and see both, seen below. That way, she could kill two birds with one stone, by delivering diverse entertainment options while promoting both of her businesses. Other unique forms of advertising brought some deserved attention to this town addition, such as a glass panel being replaced with a phonograph horn that could be heard blocks away. As well as having free shows for children under the age of 10. Because of this new destination and its promotional techniques, movie-goers expressed much gratitude for the place that pioneered "high-class five-cent" experiences for both children and families in the town of Salem.

Promotional strategy by Watson for her theaters.
Daily Oregon Statesman, April 4, 1909, p5,

     Located between Court and Liberty Street in Salem, Oregon, the Vaudette Theatre was a place for amusement and accessibility for movie-goers and those who enjoyed exciting yet affordable entertainment, specifically targeting families who needed a more low-cost option. Opening in June of 1907 and as Salem's first 5-cent theater, managers, Messrs. T. B. Morgan and H. E. Perry would use their new modern equipment in order to provide their famous demonstrations of moving pictures and illustrated songs, as seen to the left. Besides being a place for moving pictures, the theater would host a variety of events such as, singing performances with Mrs. Hallie Parrish Hinges accompanied by orchestras, and popular plays such as "Passion Play", which was a big expense but a popular presentation for the theater. More importantly, the Vaudette would be a place of politics, by showing 17 different screenings regarding child labor views as seen in the gallery below. Mrs. M. E. Watson, who owned not one, but two theaters in Salem including the Dreamland, focused her efforts to have sufficient forms of entertainment at both locations. Having the more popular ones such as a three-piece ladies orchestra and the "Oregon Nightingale" at the Vaudette. It would be a place where families could gather without the stress of having to pay high prices, and children could enjoy a variety of screenings, plays, and other features that would prove to be a hit. The popularity of the theater was clearly evident, as the local newspaper made a special effort to mention Vaudette Theatre on various occasions and the fun that it has attracted, seen in the gallery. With a program switch twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the people of Salem were guaranteed to never get bored with these ever-changing amusement options.


Competing theater promotions
Daily Oregon Statesman, October 18, 1908, p6,

Works Cited

  • Daily Oregon Statesman. "Be Thankful Today.", 28 November 1907, p.5.

  • Daily Oregon Statesman. "Between the Acts.", 04 March 1908, p.2.

  • Daily Oregon Statesman. "Free Show Wednesday.", 20 August 1907, p.3.

  • Daily Oregon Statesman. "Learn Something.", 02 April 1908, p.5.

  • Daily Oregon Statesman. "Mrs. Hallie Parrish Hinges.", 04 March 1909, p.5.

  • Daily Oregon Statesman. "Mrs. Hallie Parrish Hinges to Sing for a Week at Vaudette.", 27 March 1909, p.3.

  • Daily Oregon Statesman. "Theatre Will Show Child Labor Views.", 29 March 1908, p.5.

  • Daily Oregon Statesman. "The Vaudette to Open.", 02 June 1907, p.6.

  • Daily Oregon Statesman. "Ye Liberty.", 18 October 1908, p.6.

  • The Film Index. “Vaudette Theatre, Salem, Oregon.” Bijou Dream, 23 Oct. 2018,