Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Portland, Oregon

Formerly known as the Portland Public Theater and Paramount Theater, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall was built in 1927.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Paramount former
Paramount Theater former
Paramount Theatre former
Portland Public Theatre former
The Schnitz nickname
45.5169360° N, 122.6814580° W

Historic Highlights

  •   One of the few grand 1920s movie palaces in substantially original condition
  •   Most of the original furnishings intact
  •   Designed by the nation's foremost firm of theatre architects (Rapp & Rapp of Chicago and New York)
  •   Considered to be one of George L. Rapp's best works
  •   Includes landmark "Portland" sign

Location Map

Map showing the location of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, Oregon. (Note: The address shown in the upper-left panel is sometimes inaccurate.) Click here to view larger.

Aerial View

Aerial view of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, Oregon. (Note: The address shown in the upper-left panel is sometimes inaccurate.) Click here to view larger.

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22 Apr 1976
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall added to National Register of Historic Places
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National Register Data

The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places with the following information. Note: some of this data may have become outdated since the listing date. View full NRHP data →

National Register ID
Date Listed
Paramount Theatre
Other Names
Portland Public Theatre
1037 SW Broadway
Rapp & Rapp
Level of Significance
Years of Significance
1927; 1928
Areas of Significance

National Register Significance Summary

The Paramount Theatre remains one of the few grand 1920s vaudeville/movie palaces in substantially original condition, with most of the original furnishings intact, and without major alterations. Designed by the nation?s foremost firm of theatre architects of the 1920s, Rapp & Rapp of Chicago and New York, the theatre officially opened its doors on March 8, 1928. North Italian Rococo Revival in style, the theatre is considerated to be one of George L. Rapp?s best works. Supervising architects were the Portland firm of De Young & Rolad.

The Rapp brothers designed 167 theatres, many occupying central positions in major cities. Their first experience in the field of theatre architecture came in 1906 with the Central (Park) Theatre in Chicago. They designed many other theatres in Chicago and then expanded their efforts to theatres in other cities, such as New York and St. Louis. Rapp and Rapp did not limit their practice to theatre design. After C, W. Rapp?s death in 1926, George L. Rapp continued the office alone... more →

National Register Description Summary

The Paramount Theatre, "L" shaped in plan, fronts Broadway, Portland's central avenue, extends one block west on Main Street to the south Park Blocks which parallel Broadway through most of the downtown area, and then north one block. The theatre, with North Italian Rococo Revival detail, was designed by Rapp and Rapp, foremost theatre designers of the time. Construction was started in 1927 and completed at a cost of $1.5 million for the theatre, but the official opening was on March 8, 1928.

The exterior features a light-colored brick laid in a running board with cast stone trim. A blind arcade with cast stone trim and medallions decorate the south and west walls. The west side forms a rhythmical backdrop for the park block across 8th Avenue. The facade on Broadway features a modified version of the famous "Paramount" window over the marquee. The outer lobby has terra cotta trim around the windows. The arch motif is prevelant in the outer lobby much as it is on the. exterior walls. An ornate vaulted ceiling, mirrored walls, marble trim, and terrazzo floor are other highlights of the outer lobby... more →