AKA: Mayfair Theatre, Downtown, Portland, OR; Fox Theatre, Downtown, Portland, OR

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Houghton, Edwin W., Architect (firm); Edwin Walker Houghton (architect)

Dates: constructed 1909-1910, demolished 1997

837 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205-3321

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SW Broadway and SW Taylor Street

Building History

The Seattle architect Edwin W. Houghton (1856-1927) designed the Heilig Theatre #2 in 1909-1910. Houghton designed at least 10 other theatres during the 1898-1910 period, from Chicago, IL, to Seattle, WA. The Heilig had several name changes, like many movie theatres of the twentieth century. It was renamed the "Hippodrome" c. 1919, and rechristened the "Rialto" in 1929 after the Paramount/Publix exhibition chain took it over. It was renamed the "Mayfair" in the early 1930s (when management again changed hands) and the "Fox" in the 1954.

It was "Skourasized" in 1953-1954.

Building Notes

This tall, imposing theatre had a brick-faced exterior and boxy lines. A large metal canopy adorned with lights covered the main entrance.


A small fire occurred in a janitor's room on 05/20/1952 causing $750 damage. The Skouras Brothers--and their lead designer--Carl G. Moeller--supervised the remodeling of the 1,458-seat Fox in 1953-1954; it reopened as the Fox on 08/12/1954 following a $230,000 modernization effort. Added at this time was a 61' x 30' CinemaScope screen and new stereo sound system.


The Heilig Theatre #2 was razed in 1997 when the Fox Tower was built in 805 SW Broadway. A single letter from its neon sign, an "F," as preserved in the new building.

PCAD id: 14719