S2 -Episode 1 – the Women’s Lounge

At the end of the last Season you overheard a cryptic phase – the Women's Lounge, and were left with a pamphlet to a revival play, it seems – what does a play about a long past struggle have to do with anything now?


Explore some of the fascinating history of the Whiteside Theater – the $20,000 Wurlitzer Pipe Organ ($350,000 in 2022 USD!) played by a murderer! The $30,000 upgrade to hear the movies come to life (over half a million in todays dollars!!) The fires that ravaged and beset the property.


Solve the challenges starting by clicking the ONLINE ADVENTURE button to unravel the story and find out what was really happening on that fateful day!


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The Historic Resources Which Inspired Episode One Challenges

Seattle architect Henderson Ryan (1856-1927) produced the design for George (born 1874) and Samuel (born 1878) Whiteside, natives of Burlington, IA, who, by 1908, operated a theatre for films and other performances in Corvallis, OR. They went on to found the Crystal Theatre, Majestic Theatre and, perhaps, the Idlewile Theatre in the city before opening the more grand, Italian Renaissance Style Whiteside.

Subsequently, they also reconstructed a garage to become the State Theatre in 1931. According to historian Chapman, “Sam and George Whiteside built the Whiteside Theatre in 1922 in honor of their father. The Whiteside family owned the theatre building until 1985, when Vida Carlson Whiteside (whom Samuel, Jr., married in 1915) sold the property to Tim Moyer Cinemas, Inc. The Whiteside family was involved in the Whiteside Theatre's activities for a total of 63 years, and in Corvallis' theatre entertainment business for over 77 years.” (See J. Sanders Chapman, “History of the Whiteside Theatre,”Accessed 02/25/2013.) The Whiteside Theatre closed in 2002.

Philomath College is the product of the Oregon Conference of the United Brethren Church of Christ. In 1865 the conference determined to build up a “first class institution of learning.” The college opened in October 1867 with about one hundred students. Springer notes that since few schools in the area offered coursework beyond elementary level, Philomath College was initially a preparatory and secondary school.

By 1874 the school had instituted a four-year classical course, focusing on Greek and Latin languages and literature, higher mathematics, science, rhetoric and logic. This led to a A.B. degree; also available was a B.S. degree which required neither Greek nor Latin, and a four-year Ladies’ course, which also led to a B.S. degree.

In 1884 Philomath College added a three-year normal course comprised of the upper two years of the preparatory course and the first year of college work. To meet the needs of students in the area, PC also developed programs in business and music.

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