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Drain Theatre

1996 Photo from the Jim & Elaine Drain collection.
Highway 38
Drain OR

Demolished 1999
Record #20782  
 Closed: 1984
 Demolished: 1999
Capacity: 347 seats
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:

Information for this tour was contributed by David Stambaugh.

Drain is a typical small Oregon mill town that fell on hard times after the lumber boom ended. I drove through it once in the mid-1990s and remember seeing an abandoned theater with an impressive facade and marquee still intact. Upon returning in 2002, I found the building to have been leveled.

While taking these two pictures of what remains (basically just the foundation and sloped floor), the owner of the property came over and we talked briefly. He said he ran the Drain for "a few years," eventually shutting it down in 1984. It had 347 seats and no balcony. The seats were removable so the facility could be converted into a skating rink. It hosted skating on Fridays, and movies on Saturdays and Sundays. It ran only G and PG movies. The owner said he ran the booth, did all the booking, etc., with very little help. He said he calculated that he was netting 47 cents an hour for his work running the place, so he closed it in 1984. After that, the building had been used as an auto repair shop, and it burned to the ground in July 1999 as a result of an accident with a gasoline spill.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

2002 photos from the David Stambaugh collection.

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1996 photos from the Jim and Elaine Drain collection.

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Last featured 1/22/2005. Last edited 12/20/2008.

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