Orpheus Theatre

1130 Main Street,
Klamath Falls, OR 97601

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Mondale Theatre, Strand Theatre, White Pelican Theatre

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Orpheus Theatre

The Orpheus Theatre was built in 1914 and was owned by Major C.E. Worden, and managed by Archie Tyndall & J.W. Starling. The theater suffered as major fire in July 1915, and was purchased by C.R. Miller during its renovation. He was a popular photographer in Klamath Falls who had branched out into filmmaking. The Orpheus Theater served as the perfect venue for Miller to show his films of the area to the community - in addition to recent movies produced by leading studios of the time.

The Orpheus Theater changed management to Clay Powers of Sission (Mt. Shasta) California, in 1917 and it only operated for a few months until it was ordered to be closed in 1918 in the throes of the influenza pandemic. In January 1920, the Orpheus Theater reopened under the ownership of J.R. Monroe and R.E. Dale, hence the name change to Mondale Theatre. In July 1921, R.E. Dale sold his partnership, making the ownership one of Monroe & Patrick, with a name change to Strand Theatre in lieu of the new/dissolved partnership.

The Strand Theatre was closed from February 1923 until June 1924, when newspaper reports indicated that the theatre had been bought by Mr. & Mrs. F.W. Sebrean and renamed White Pelican Theatre. In the summer of 1926, Granville McPherson bought the theatre and he restored the theatre’s name back to the original Orpheus Theater. In March 1929, the Orpheus Theater was sold to H.W. Poole, an established theater owner already in Klamath Falls. Poole had recently built and opened in January 1929, Poole’s Pelican Theatre (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures), a state-of-art theater to show talking movies only, and he advertised the Orpheus Theater as showing silent films only for the upcoming summer.

The Orpheus Theater suffered another fire in November 1930 that destroyed almost the entire block of where it was located. Newspaper accounts state that the theater was not in use at the time of the fire, so it is unclear if the Orpheus Theater had closed before, or it was a result of the fire.

Contributed by Lost Memory
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