Baker Theatre

1821 Main Street,
Baker City, OR 97814

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Baker Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Orpheum Theatre opened in 1889 in Baker City. It ran until 1936 when there was a fire in the building. The theatre was boarded up for a time and then Ted Gamble (a Portland, Oregon movie theatre owner) leased, remodeled, modernized it and reopened the theatre in the 1940’s. The theatre was renamed the Baker Theatre.

It had a large balcony and CinemaScope screen. First run movies were shown daily until about 1955 when they went to a four day week. In 1956 the theatre was closed and sat vacant until about 1964 when it was remodeled into a hardware store. Later it became a clothing store and then a music store, who moved out of the building in 2015. In May 2016 plans were proposed to renovate and re-open the building, to be re-named Baker Orpheum Theatre. Much of the original decorative features will be revealed after being hidden for years behind false walls and ceilings.

Contributed by David Burris

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre on May 5, 2009 at 7:22 pm

The Baker can be seen in this 1950 photo:

scorpio1949 on March 2, 2010 at 2:35 am

Word has it that a group in La Grande is trying to resurrect the Liberty Theater there for a community multi purpose theater facility. The Baker could be done this way too. It is pretty much intact. The projection room, balcony, under the floor is the original sloped floor and the stage is still there. At a recent Eastern Oregon Regional Theater play another longterm Baker City resident and former business owner mentioned this to me. EORT is trying to find a location for a permanent theater. This space could be restored much like the Liberty. It would be a great addition to downtown. A great space for plays, traveling music events, etc…I spent many enjoyable hours at the Baker as a child.

CinemaFan1949 on July 28, 2016 at 1:51 pm

David Burris donated money to buy the Orpheum building to Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre in May. Renovation has started and the retail store partitions have been removed as well as the false ceiling which has opened up the auditorium. The beautiful murals are now visible. The renovation will be done in phases. The Baker marquee will be restored with the addition of the right edge bottom of the Baker letters of the Orpheum name…thus the remembrance of the 30’s Orpheum and the 40’s and 50’s Baker on the new signage. The theater will show case plays by EORT as well as local music groups and will bring in entertainers as well. It will be an extraordinary attraction for downtown Baker City!

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