Music Box Theatre

901 SW Alder Street,
Portland, OR 97205

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Music Box Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Peoples Theatre opened in 1911. It was extensively rebuilt in 1929 to the plans of architects John Bennes and Herman Herzog and reopened as the Alder Theatre.

Around 1935, it was renamed Music Box Theatre, which operated into the 1950’s.

Contributed by Louise-Annette Burgess

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 11, 2009 at 11:13 am

Good point. Okay, the aka names should be Adler Theatre and People’s Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm

The aka should be Alder Theatre, like the tree the street was probably named after, not Adler.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 13, 2009 at 6:52 am

I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. LOL

Speaking of typos, the aka name should be Alder.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 19, 2010 at 8:38 am

The 1982 photo depicts the last Music Box Theatre in Portland, located on Broadway next door to the Fox Theatre. Gary Lacher and Steve Stone’s book “Theaters of Portland” says that there were six Portland theaters called the Music Box. I don’t think it has a page at Cinema Treasures yet.

jespdx on March 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

The address listed is wrong. The Music Box was on Broadway at the corner of Yamhill street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm

The address above is correct for an earlier Music Box, which operated in the Alder Street location from 1935 and probably through the 1950s. The Music Box on Broadway at Yamhill, which opened in late 1959 or early 1960, doesn’t yet have a page at Cinema Treasures.

Also here’s a correction to my comment of April 9, 2009. The last paragraph says that I thought the photo at the PSTOS web site was of Seattle, not Portland, but I now think it is indeed Portland, and it depicts an even earlier Music Box Theatre, listed at Cinema Treasures under its later name, the Liberty Theatre. That house was most likely the Music Box from the late 1920s until 1935, when the name was moved to this house, the former Alder Theatre.

Douglas on June 16, 2010 at 12:59 am

It has been a long time since the error and confusion here has been identified. This is not the later Music Box Theatre, as corroborated by many above. Is there a way that another entry can be made for the later Music Box?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 20, 2012 at 11:40 am

The photo currently displayed on this page depicts the later Music Box Theatre on Broadway, not the Music Box Theatre on Alder Street.

The November 2, 1929, issue of Motion Picture News had an article about the remodeling of the Peoples Theatre and its reopening as the Alder Theatre. The People’s Theatre opened in 1911, and was owned by J. J. Parker. The 1929 rebuilding was extensive, involving the complete reconstruction of the balcony in order to remove columns on the first floor, and the moving of the entrance from the front of the building to the corner of 9th and Alder.

The rebuilding project was designed by the architectural firm of Bennes & Herzog, the same firm that designed the Hollywood Theatre.

HowardBHaas on February 21, 2012 at 8:19 am

Joe, thanks, the wrong photo has been removed as I sent in the request to the site masters.

Tinseltoes on July 18, 2012 at 6:36 am

This 1961 trade article describes the Music Box that has yet to receive a listing at Cinema Treasures: Boxoffice

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