Folly (Eugene)

Folly Theatre


572 Willamette St., Eugene, Oregon / 836 Willamette St., Eugene, Oregon*

572 Willamette St., Eugene, 1912. Digital Sanborn Maps

Number of seats: 400

Owners/managers: Martha E. Watson, Julius Goldsmith, G. Nettle, J.J. (Joseph) Bryan

*The street numbering system in Eugene changed in 1913. Thus, some of the theaters have addresses that do not conform to contemporary locations, or have two different addresses, although they stayed in the same physical location.

The Folly provided a mix of movies and vaudeville acts in its programming. One night included a musical program by MISS BARROWS and MISS GOODHUE, “the silver-voiced singers,” along with Biograph and Selig short films, a Mary Pickford/D.W. Griffith short feature called “White Roses,” and four other short films. Admission varied from 5¢-25¢, depending on the content of the show and whether it was a matinee or evening. The program changed daily; “WE DON’T RUN REPEATERS” promised one ad from 1910.

The Folly ran regular ads in the Eugene Daily Guard. The promotions boasted of excellent ventilation and daily disinfection during the summer months, and “a warm and comfortable” house during the winter.

In June 1915, J.J. (Joseph) Bryan purchased a half-ownership in the Folly with Mrs. Watson. Bryan was the former owner of the Grand, Electric, and Bell theaters in Springfield, and the Aloha, (later the Savoy,) in Eugene. He and Mrs. Watson remodeled and expanded the Folly, taking over the cigar store in order to install additional seating—bringing the capacity up to 675. They also created a large, dramatic arch over the theater entrance, and ordered a pipe organ. All together, the renovations cost between $4,000-$5,000.

The newly renovated theater was re-opened to Eugene movie fans in July 1915 as the Oregon theater.

Eugene Daily Guard, 5 Jan. 1911, p. 5
Lane County News, 10 June 1915, p. 1
Eugene Daily Guard, 23 April 1915, p. 6

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