Movie Theaters in Forest Grove
By Eric G. Stewart

11/19-11/20/1897

A variety of short subjects on strips of film in an early Edison projector gave Forest Grove its first sense of motion in pictures at Vert's Hall. The projector was a cineograph.

1907

Geyer & Sullivan planned to show short movies on night in each of several towns on a "circuit"

6/1908

Nightly movies in Vert's Hall under the name "The Electric Theater."

8/17/1908

Becker & Springer using the Masonic room on second floor of Vert's Hall for movies with program changed three times a week. Illustrated songs included.

1/1/1909

Scenic Theater opened. First theater in Forest Grove built exclusively for movies.

3/1909

Oscar Burnsworth to open an electric theater for movies in former restaurant on ground floor of Vert's Hall.

9/5/1910

Bennett & Hebner open an electric theater in Knights of Pythias building.

11/1910

Owners of The Scenic secured control of the Royal Theater. (This is the only reference)

6/11/1912

The Scenic moved into a new building at 2028 Pacific Ave. Built as a movie theater and adopted "The Star" as its new name.

11/2/1912

Grand opened in a store on Main Street.

6/7/1935

Name changed from Star to "The Grove"

7/17/1947

Forest Theater opens.

8/2/1961

Last movie at The Grove.


Theatrical Organizations in Forest Grove
By Eric G. Stewart

6/2-3/1882

"Queen Ester" play for benefit of M. E. Church.

1/1886

Forest Grove Nickle Plated Band & Stock Company

nickel plated theater 1886.jpg

3/23/1888

"Among the Breakers." Several in cast same as 1886 Nickle-plated Band and Stock Co.

1/1897

"Scout & Spy to be produced soon by The Home Dramatic Co. of Forest Grove

12/19,20,21/ 1901

New plays given by Fisher & VanCleve probably a touring company

2/1905

"Another company of local players has begun rehursing a drama" Proceeds for curtains and scenery for Vert Hall. The comedy - drama "Tatters, the Pet of Squatter's Gulch" was given March 30, 1905

1/30/1908

The Forest Grove Entertainment Co. presented songs, musical comedy, stunts and a 30-minute farce

1/1913

The Beeson Brothers players gave comedy stunts, songs, dances, and playlets. A feature was trained dogs doing tricks. Probably a travelling group performing along with movies at the Grand Theater for a week.

12/28/1916

Billings & Billings Vaudeville Team at Star Theater - one night

1/1970

Theater in the Grove incorporated, first production in Jan 1970.



"Forest Grove Theaters Under Same Management Since 1909"
Forest Grove News Times (9/13/1956)

13 years after Charles Jenkins combined the stereopticon with the magic lantern to invent the motion picture projector, Fred Watrous brought the "movies" to Forest Grove.

"It was in the days of the Nickelodeon when a vacant room and a few chairs were all that was needed to open a theater, that Mr. Watrous embarked on his 47 year career of motion picture exhibition. His first showplace, the Scenic Theater, was located where the Forest Theater now shows the latest movies...often while they are still showing in metropolitan first-run theater at road show prices.

The July 12, 1912 edition of the Washington County News carries and advertisement for the Star Theater (successor to the Scenic) which boasts of the latest Rex Beach movie "The Silver Horde"...a motion picture that "...bristles with thrills, throbs with emotion, glows with color, life, heat...two-fisted men in a saga of the frozen north..." The ad writers haven't changed in 44 years but a look at the projection room of the modern Forest Theater suggests that the "flickers have come a long way to CinemaScope 55.

In addition to active management of both his theaters Mr. Watrous operates the Tip Top fountain and cafe whose thirty flavors of ice cream attract students from both the high school and Pacific University.

The Watrous enterprises in Forest Grove employ forty local people in their morning 'till midnight operation."