The Wexford theater was opened in 1910 with a "grand opening" presentation allowing for everybody to come visit and experience the show. This newspaper advertisement obtained from The Daily Capital Journal, specifically from the Newspapers.com database, is not a big article with plentiful information, however it does provide some useful details about the theater such as the initial price of entry as well as some of the equipment used there. For example, according to this newspaper ad, we can see that admission cost was priced at ten cents, and they used a "Fine Machine Powers' Cameragraph No.6" in the theater. I also found it interesting how the ad states "everybody welcome" because I am not 100% sure this is accurate for the time this theater was running. In class we have been learning about racial discrimination and segregation throughout the state of Oregon that occurred in movie theaters such as the Star Theater in Portland. Specifically black families, for example, William D. Allen and Oliver Taylor were both discriminated at the Star and they went on to sue the proprietor of the theater. With examples like those prevalent in Portland which is located only a couple hours away from the Wexford in Salem, I am very suspicious that "Everybody Welcome" may not be the reality of the situation. Further on I plan on doing more research regarding racism at the Wexford to see if similar behaviors are prevalent here.
Capital Journal_May 5th, 1910_Page 9
Capital Journal_January 25th, 1911_Page 7
This is a newspaper article that I also found from the Daily Capital Journal in the Newspapers.com database. It is dated as being published on January 25th the following year of its grand opening which means there has been quite a bit of time for the theater successfully running with people visiting and enjoying the space there. It was so successful in fact that the “popular manager” of the Wexford, George Rosner, was able to purchase a beautiful pipe organ at the cost of $4,000 to be installed in the theater. The article claims that the pipe organ was the most expensive in the Willamette Valley outside of Portland and was the largest at the time to be installed in a moving picture house in all of the United States. The article then goes on to praise George Rosner for adding the organ and it seems like the people really like his ownership and the form in which he runs the theater because he added this instrument to the building. Even though this organ was one of the biggest in the country, Rosner apparently condensed the organ’s length to avoid interfering with the seating which I thought was really cool. Although the addition of music was very important, Rosner still wanted to keep the comfortableness of the people in mind.