As I make my plans for a festive Halloween celebration at the Star Theater, I am intrigued by the storied past of this, recently refurbished, venue that sits between West Burnside and Portland’s Chinatown.
May 19, 1911 The Princess Theater, renamed the Star Theater in 1939, was a silent film theater that could accommodate 300 “silent” movie viewers . In 1940 the movies were removed and so were the ladies gloves, stocking and brassieres! The theater became home to live burlesque shows with well known dancers such as, Tempest Storm, Betty Roth as Candy Renee, and Arabella Andre.
The late 60’s, brought another change and even less clothing. The Star Theater became an adult theater that showed erotic movies with live strip shows on the stage. The 70’s brought yet more change and experimenting. Everything from classic comedy to underground films, as well as, controversial “live sex shows” took place on the Star stage.
1979-1983 The Star went back to it’s less contentious form of adult entertainment and became just another run-of-the-mill Portland strip bar. However, this strip bar had a very well known,although not at the time, teenage stripper shaking her ta-tas, her name was Courtney Love.