Alta Theater Promotions

The Alta theater was located in Pendleton, Oregon. The theater was opened on September 6, 1913, and was made to accommodate the needs of viewers in response to those lacking said needs. It came equipped with extra space in the back so that late-comers would not be crowded together and a large number of people could sit comfortably and maneuver the theater with ease. The owner of the venue, C.E. Oliphant, was a civil engineer who had previously owned a successful theater and seemed to know the ins and outs of the business. When researching, I came across a funny, yet understandable move used to promote the theater. Across Pendleton, there were two water fountains that were placed for street dwellers and citizens to consume from. One of which, thanks to Mr. Oliphant, was placed directly in front of the new Alta theater.

Several strategies were used to promote such as the newspaper reviews and so on, but something so small as putting a water fountain in front of the venue seemed to create a bit more fluidity, no pun intended, when attracting viewers. A patron could simply want a cool drink of water and would see the fun and excitement happening at the new playground, as the indigenous citizens put it, and be compelled to enter.

East Oregonian, Sept. 8, 1913, p. 5

This is quite an interesting premise and can show how something so simple can create a greater impact on the popularity of the venue. Unfortunately, this researcher was not able to find specific numbers and statistics on how effective it was, but according to the newspapers, the venue was quite popular during its time of operation. It also goes to show the level of knowledge that the owner or manager had about the business and the small details that go into attracting people to his newly established theater.