Coliseum Cinema

310 Main Avenue,
Tillamook, OR 97141

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 27, 2009 at 8:18 pm

For many years, the Coliseum was operated by a fellow named Dude Smith. That’s how he was styled in many issues of Boxoffice Magazine from the 1930s through the 1950s. Other issues give his formal name of Claude H. Smith, but I prefer Dude.

Dude bought the Coliseum and another Tillamook house, the Castle, in the mid-1930s. In 1952, he opened a drive-in nearby called the Tillavue. At some time he added the Columbia Theatre at St. Helens, Oregon, to his holdings. He operated all these theaters until his death, at which time (according to Boxoffice’s issue of March 4, 1963) they were taken over by the administrator of his estate, a Mr. Gus Elbow Jr.

A small photo of Dude Smith accompanies a thumbnail biography of him, commemorating his twenty years in movie exhibition, published in the March 17, 1945, issue of Boxoffice. The last line of the biography reads “His hobby is exploitation.”

I think Dude deserves a plaque in the Coliseum’s lobby.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 11, 2008 at 4:42 pm

There are some older photos on the pstos page:
http://tinyurl.com/yq7wyx

GaryParks
GaryParks on April 15, 2007 at 10:08 pm

I saw and photographed this theatre’s exterior last week. One of the young women who work there apologized that the COLISEUM name was not lit up on one side of the marquee. She said that the firm who built and maintained the present marquee was from Portland and had gone out of business, and the theatre staff had yet to find a new neon contractor to take care of the problem.

We were let into the tiny and plain lobby. There is a photo on the lobby wall of the theatre exterior when new, which shows a vertical sign to the right of the facade. Below this is a little written tribute to the theatre, written by a longtime patron.

rroberts
rroberts on September 27, 2006 at 8:24 pm

Don: Is there any change of ownership?

rroberts
rroberts on January 17, 2005 at 1:23 am

I have been in that theatre. What is their schedule now? Do they do movies, live theatre?