Bluebird Theatre

4th Street and Pacific Avenue,
Bremerton, WA 98337

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater


View address on Google Maps

Additional Info

Nearby Theaters

No theaters found within 30 miles

Bluebird marquee on left. 1920s photo courtesy Colleen Moore.

A conversion of a former department store, the Bluebird Theatre was opened on February 22, 1921. It was closed in 1929.

Contributed by David Zornig

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

walterk on February 15, 2020 at 4:41 am

The Bluebird opened on February 22, 1921, built and operated by the Union Theater Company of Bremerton and might have opened as the Union Theatre. It was not a new building, but had previously been a department store that was transformed into a theatre seating 800 in a matter of weeks. It was home to a Wurlitzer, theatre ownership changed before the end of that year. It was listed in the Film Daily Yearbook from at least 1926 through 1929, disappearing after that.

My main source of information was an item in the June 25 issue of “Moving Picture World” about the Bluebird, saying it had “recently opened”. It gives a very detailed description of the theatre, projectors, seats, etc. There were a few things that caught my eye and thought I’d look a little further into, starting with the manager, L. W. Doudlah, who it mentions was a former theatre owner.

A search found an article about new first run theatres in the Northwest in the January 20th 1921 issue of Wid’s Daily. The article mentions that Doudlah had “remodeled the old Arcadia Skating Rink in Bremerton” and opened it with a string of big pictures. The February 17 issue of Wid’s mentions in a larger article that the converted skating rink was such a success that “Doudlah interested businessmen and is building a new theater which will open as the Union Theater on February 22”.

The last paragraph in the MPW article talks about the three-week turnaround converting a department store into the Bluebird, mentioning it opened on the 22nd though no month is given. I’m guessing that month was February.

MPW also mentioned the presence of an organ grille. I checked the opus lists and found Wurlitzer had installed Opus 390, a 135B 2-manual console with 4 ranks behind the grille on February 7, 1921, the location was given as the Union Theatre in Bremerton.

The December 10 issue of Moving Picture World mentions that the Osran Amusement Company had purchased the Bluebird. Osran was still the operator in 1926, when it was listed under “Movie Chains” in the Film Daily Yearbook (it didn’t appear the general theatre list though).

In the 1927-1929 yearbooks, the Bluebird did appear in the theatre listings, although the seating had changed from the 800 mentioned in 1921 to 500.

These yearbooks also showed a couple changes of ownership.

By 1927, Bluebird had been sold North American Theaters, Inc. of New York. The following two years it was part of the Westco Holding Company, which Fox held a majority interest in. As I mentioned, it doesn’t appear after 1929; it was one of three theatres Westco had in Bremerton (the others being the Rex and Rialto) and for whatever reason, it was closed.

I use Westco as the FDY did, Fox did not merge the Fox Theater Corporation holdings - around 30 theatres – in with Westco, and the two chains were listed separately those two years although ownership by Fox appeared in parentheses with Westco and the reader was referred to Westco from the Fox listing.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.