The Forum, yes, but before that: the Saxe Theater. Once you understand its previous life, the exterior makes more sense. It was built in 1914, and it was gorgeous. One thousand seats, the largest screen in the Northwest (for a few months, anyway) and air perfumed by crushed peacock feathers. Well, no. But the usual superlatives applied. The name was changed three months after it opened, and I can guess why: Saxe may have reminded people of “Saxon,” and since Kaiserism had begun its march through Europe by year’s end, the owners went with “Strand,” which had bully-red-beef British implications.

This picture was taken in 1928, when the Saxon was converted into the Forum Cafeteria. The ground floor was stripped clean, I suspect, and replaced with a utilitarian façade. The interior? That’s another matter.