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Orpheum (Empress, Pantages) Theatre - 3/10 Robert Morton
Portland, Oregon
Broadway at Yamhill St.
Organ installation timeframe: 1925-1954
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Robert Morton console (after removal from the theatre)
There were two locations for the Orpheum Theatre. The original Orpheum Theatre was located in a relatively small, two-story building. The theatre later moved to a much larger house previously occupied by the Empress Theatre.
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Broadway, looking South, 1946
Records show that a Robert Morton organ was installed in 1925 or 1926. As was typical for Pantages theatres, the organ was installed under the stage.
According to a 1927 Jacob's Magazine, Henri Le Bel is credited with being one of the big draws at the Pantages Theatre. "He is a master showman as well as a thorough artist. He is one of the few organists to create a real following in the Northwest, and is considered the ace of the Pantages string."
Looking South on Broadway, c.1930's --->
In 1954, Balcom & Vaughan moved the organ to the Adams Skate Rink in Tacoma, Washington.
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Looking across the intersection of Broadway & Yamhill, 1963

Looking North on Broadway, c.1936

Looking South on Broadway, c.1950's.

Looking South on Broadway, c.1957. Fox and Paramount signage also visible.
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An early view looking North on Broadway. Heilig and Hippodrome Theatre signage also visible

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Postcard view of the theatre when it was called the Empress, pre-1915
According to this card, the "New Empress Theatre" was "built at a cost exceeding $800,000, seated over 2,000 and had a sanitary ventilating system."
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Another postcard view of the Empress Theatre, date unknown. Looking North on Broadway from Yamhill Street.

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