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The Elsinore Theatre was primarily inspired by the Shakespeare play, Hamlet. Its owner, George Guthrie, hired architects to design the building after the castle in the English city of Elsinore. The design team was led by University of Oregon?s school of architecture?s first dean, Ellis F. Lawrence.

Completed in 1926, the Elsinore Theatre was actually designed for live performances and silent films. However, sound movies soon came about, so some adjustments became necessary. Around this time, the property was already leased to Fox Theatres and then to Warner Brothers Theatres, which is the company that operated the site until 1951.

The Elsinore Theatre was restored in 2002. It was opened again in 2004 after a $3.2 million restoration of the building.
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