809 SW Washington Street,
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Previously operated by: Evergreen State Amusement Corp., Fox Circuit
Architects: Aaron H. Gould
Previous Names: National Theatre, Strand Theatre, Rivoli Theatre, Pix Theatre, Newsreel Theatre
The National Theatre was opened on October 29, 1914. On March 16, 1916 it was taken over by new operators and was later renamed Strand Theatre, presenting live theatre. Follwoing renovations it was renamed Rivoli Theatre on January 14, 1920, when it had 1,200 seats. It was later renamed Pix Theatre. In October 1941 it was renamed Newsreel Theatre and from January 1952 operated as the Roxy Theatre.
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The genesis of this theatre is found in the National Theatre that opened October 29, 1914 for the National Amusement Company. With World War I in progress, Uncle Sam was outside and the patriotic first films was “America”. The $150,000 theater was architected by Aaron H. Gould and struggled to find an audience past its opening.
On March 19 1916, the National – purchased by S. Morton Cohn and the Strand Theatre Co – changed to the Strand Theatre to do more live programming. That fails quickly and the Strand becomes a full-time movie house. The Stark/Park corner location is deemed to be part of the problem. A major change occurs when architect Martin Schacht is brought in to create an entrance from busier Washington Street through the four-year old Columbia Building . Converting a storeroom on the main floor, Schacht created a pass through entrance connecting the National/Strand Theatre and converted its former entrance to fire exits.
The next owner of the Strand, Marshall Taylor, decided to retrofit and rebrand the theater becoming the Rivoli Theatre launching January 14, 1920. The theater had a brief go as the Pix Theatre. But in October of 1941 with world tensions on the rise, the location became the Newsreel Theatre and found an audience. When newsreels faded, the theater struggled again to find an audience and changed to the Roxy Theatre. Prospects were dim in the TV era and the Roxy eventually closed.
The theater has been demolished and the building housing its entry has also been demolished.
I just added a Rivoli check tag to my colection from a metal detectorist in Portland, found near the area of the theater.
Motion Picture Herald, Jan. 26, 1952: “The Newsreel will change its name to the Roxy and will take over the current Liberty policy of showing two top second features on an all night basis."