United Artists Theatre

25 SE Dorian Avenue,
Pendleton, OR 97801

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UNITED ARTISTS Theatre; Pendleton, Oregon.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened as the Alta Theatre, a Robert Morton theatre organ was installed in 1926 which could have been the year of opening. The address is given as 108 S. Main Street.

It was later re-named the United Artists Theatre, in fact in Film Daily Yearbook’s from at least 1941 through to 1950 the theatre is listed under both names.

However, it could be that a different Alta Theatre was opened though, as in the 1950 edition of Film Daily Yearbook, the Alta Theatre is given at a different address; 25 SE. Dorion Avenue, Pendleton, OR.

Any further information on the Alta/United Artists or even if there was a second Alta Theatre would be appreciated.

Contributed by Ken Roe, Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 24, 2007 at 5:21 pm

This is the website for the Pendleton Faith Center located in this building today. At the top of the page, click on “Find Us” and you will see a small photo of the building. It also mentions on that page that this building used to be the United Artists Theater.

Some vintage photos of the United Artists Theater can be seen at this website.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 24, 2007 at 8:43 pm

Here is a recent photo of the church located in this former theater building.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 25, 2007 at 11:23 am

Before you proceed with this entry, you should change the introduction’s first sentence, which is grammatically incorrect.

dulciana on April 13, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Hello-The Alta Theatre in Pendleton, Oregon was located on Dorian Avenue. It was the smallest of the three downtown theatres and I was informed that it was owned by the same family that operated the Rivoli. The Alta did have a 2 manual 4 rank theatre pipe organ munufactured by the Robert Morton Organ Co. It was their opus 2287 and was installed circa June-July, 1926.
This organ still sees regular use at Bellingham, Washington’s Central Lutheran Church. I play each week and maintain the organ to keep it in excellent condition.
Hopefully this information will help.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 13, 2008 at 4:46 pm

The opening sentence of the introduction doesn’t make sense. I think that the two Kens had something different in mind.

DonLewis on August 16, 2009 at 1:19 am

An icy wintry night time view from 1949 of downtown Pendleton and the United Artists Theatre.

TLSLOEWS on May 31, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Nice shot Don,love the vertical sign.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

All those “STAR WARS” nuts outta come here and order a picture of the 1981 maequee..HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLINT EASTWOOD,i know you filled seats in this lonely theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 25, 2011 at 8:46 am

As the photos show two very different buildings, there was apparently an earlier Alta Theatre in Pendleton. The photo of the earlier Alta Theatre can be seen on this page of The Moving Picture World, December 6, 1913. The 550-seat house was designed in the Mission Revival style by its owner/operator, C.E. Oliphant.

Does anyone know what became of the 1913 Alta Theatre?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 28, 2011 at 8:17 am

I’m still puzzled about the aka Alta Theatre for the United Artists. I’ve checked Google Street View for 25 Dorian Avenue SE, the known address of an Alta Theatre, and it looks like the building there now is the same one pictured as the Alta Theatre in the 1913 issue of The Moving Picture World that I linked to in my previous comment.

The front has been altered to open up the ground floor for storefronts, and the arc of the central section’s parapet has been flattened, but the proportions of the building are very much the same, and the arch over the original entrance is still indicated by trim, though the arch itself has been filled in.

The building the United Artists occupied is clearly fairly old itself. If it had a theater in it from the time it was built, then the operations of the two houses could have overlapped. If that’s the case, then one or the other of them must have operated at some point under an aka as yet unknown to us.

The 1913 Alta was called the New Alta in the magazine article. I wonder of the house that eventually became the United Artists could have been the original Alta? If it lost that name as early as 1913, though, and wasn’t thereafter closed for more than a decade, then it must have had another name before becoming the United Artists.

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