Portland has plenty of new multiscreen movie theaters that show the latest Hollywood releases. Thankfully, it also has a rich selection of alternative and repertory cinemas that feature independent, foreign, and vintage movies as well.
Almost 85 percent of the city’s first-run movie theaters are controlled by the Regal Cinemas chain (www.regalcinemas.com), including the following cinemas convenient to central Portland: Fox Tower Stadium 10 (846 SW Park Ave., 503/221-3280), the Broadway Metroplex 4 (1000 SW Broadway, 503/243-1404), Pioneer Square Stadium 6 (340 SW Morrison St., 503/295-0909), the Lloyd Mall 8 Cinema (2320 Lloyd Center Mall, 503/335-3760), and the Lloyd Center 10 Cinema (1510 NE Multnomah St., 503/287-0338).
Portland offers an array of genre movie houses, such as Cinema 21 (616 NW 21st Ave., 503/223-4515, www.cinema21.com), which is the city’s principal independent art-house movie theater. Another independent theater that shows offbeat, foreign, and cult movies is Hollywood Theatre (NE 41st Ave. and Sandy Blvd., 503/281-4215, www.hollywoodtheatre.org), housed in a vintage movie palace.
The Clinton Street Theater (2522 SE Clinton St., 503/238-8899, www.clintonsttheater.com) is an art-house cinema featuring films that generally would not have a market in most other theaters. This might mean The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night, vintage concert films, or dated propaganda films from the Cold War. The Clinton Street Theater also hosts the Longbaugh Film Festival in early April, with feature-length and short independent films.
Courtesy of brewpub-meisters the brothers McMenamin, Portland also features several restored vintage theaters, among other screening facilities, featuring just-past-first-run flicks ($2–5) along with pub grub and beer. The most convenient to central Portland neighborhoods are the Mission Theater (1624 NW Glisan St., 503/223-4031) and the neo-Moorish Bagdad Theater & Pub (3710 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503/230-0895). For info on what’s playing at McMenamin establishments, check out www.mcmenamins.com.
It’s not a McMenamin operation, but the budget-priced Laurelhurst Theater (NE 28th Ave. and Burnside St., 503/232-5511, www.laurelhursttheater.com) also serves beer along with a mix of vintage and slightly dated first-run films.
Another twist in the drinks-with-movies trend is Living Room Theaters (341 SW 10th Ave., 971/222-2010, www.livingroomtheaters.com), which blends the offerings of a six-theater cinema with a high-end cocktail bar. The films tend toward a mix of art-house flicks, foreign films, and revivals of classics.
Part of the Portland Art Museum, the Northwest Film Center (1219 SW Park Ave., 503/221-1156, ext. 10, www.nwfilm.org) is the Pacific Northwest’s foremost school of filmmaking and media production. As part of its curriculum and community outreach, it offers an ongoing series of foreign, classic, experimental, and independent films that showcase an extremely broad array of cinema and video art forms. Included are thematic series (for example, contemporary films of Egypt), special retrospectives (Fassbinder, Milos Forman, Derek Jarman), and visiting artist programs. Most films are screened at Whitsell Theater at the ortland Art Museum.
In summer the film center helps sponsor Top Down: Rooftop Films (729 SW 15th Ave., tickets at www.nwfilm.org, 8 p.m. Thurs. late July–Aug., $7), a series of movie screenings held outdoors on the roof of the Hotel DeLuxe parking structure.
The February Portland International Film Festival (503/221-1156, www.nwfilm.org/festivals/piff) is a two-week showcase of foreign and art films that are screened in various theaters across the city.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel