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seeing films in Portland

Here's the situation with movies in Portland. Like most places, we are dominated by big chain movie theatres, like Regal and Century. I've always rooted for the little guys, but as time goes on, I become more and more irritated with Regal. Prices have gone up, and theatres (like the wonderful Movie House, and Eastgate, which had the biggest screens in the northwest) have been shuttered. Luckily, we also have some smaller, cheaper, second-run and/or indie-r theatres. And as you might expect, some are pub-theatres with beer, wine and snacks.

99W Drive In

Hwy 99W just west of Springbrook Rd, Newberg
(503) 538-2738
open April-October

This may be the last drive-in in the metro area. They have two screens, and kids 5 and under get in free (no need to load up the trunk!).

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September 5, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Clinton Street Theatre

2522 SE Clinton
(503) 238-8899
get there via trimet
find a bike route

the Clinton Theater

A landmark of Portland cinema history, The Clinton Street Theater is one of the oldest operating moviehouses in the United States.

Opening in 1915 as the Clinton, the theater became the 26th Avenue Theatre in 1945 and the Encore in 1969. In 1976 it reverted to its original name.

Famous for its long-standing exhibition of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the theater is currently a magnet for independent / revival films.

It's a tiny theatre, the longest running theatre in Oregon, and the state's smallest brewpub. It's also very cold during the winter... and be careful where you put your feet. I ended up with the tops of my new shoes covered in a nice layer of green bubble gum.

cash only -- beer theatre with a couple of taps (most guest)

filled under seeing films in Portland
January 8, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Laurelhurst Theater

2735 E Burnside St,
(503) 232-5511
get there via trimet
find a bike route

Laurelhurst neon by Andrew Morton
Photo by Andrew Morton
4 screens, 8 beer taps, popcorn and pizzicato pizza.

2nd runs and art films, as well as oldies but goodies

21 and over after 4:00 pm (minors must be accompanied by parent for shows before 4pm)

Admission $3.00

On a recent visit, a pint (a real 16oz, in spite of the plastic glass) was $3.75, and the beers on tap included:

  • Full Sail Amber
  • Bridgeport IPA
  • Widmer Hefeweizen
  • Rogue Dead Guy
  • Lucky Lab Organic Golden
  • Lucky Lab Stumptown Porter
  • Rogue Younger's Special Bitter
  • Bridgeport Surpris

When it opened in 1924 the Laurelhurst Theatre seated 650 people within a single auditorium. Today the Theater and Pub offers fresh pizza and a microbrew, four screens and some of the cheapest movie tickets in town. Movie options range from recent releases to second runs and foreign films.

from the Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society via the Oregon Historical Society

Other Press

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April 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

St. Johns Historic Cinema & Pub

8704 N Lombard
(503) 286-1768
get there via trimet
find a bike route

the St. JohnsThe St. Johns is the only first-run beer theater in town. And prices are nowhere as outrageous as Regal. Matinees are $3.75 before 6, as are kids and seniors tickets; full price is $6. Two big screens!

Beers on tap include Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale, Pilsner Urquell, Lagunitas IPA, and a cider, and prices range from $2.50-$4 a glass. You may want to ask for a taste before you order as my Porter was off, but they exchanged it for $1. Beer is available after 5pm. Wines available too. Popcorn, topped with the funky non-butter stuff, tops out at $4; candy, including Swedish Fish(!) tops out at $2.50; and Pizzicato pizza tops out at $3.75. Do ask how long the pizza's been out of the oven if you care about these things.

While the theater floors are sticky, it's a pleasant enough way to check out a first run. Cash only

filled under St. Johns, smaller, cheaper, second-run and/or indie-r theatres
December 4, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)


SE Belmont at 35th (inside Wunderland)
Three screens here playing second runs. Haven't been myself but I hear it's quite decent. Unstarred attractions are $1.25 (of course, the last time I checked, there were no unstarred attractions. Hmmm).

Bagdad Theatre
3702 SE Hawthorne
The second of the McMenamins movie theatres. A beautifully remodeled old movie palace. $2-3 to get in, gotta be over 21 (though their website talks more about the labyrinthine OLCC laws). They carry beer and wine, rather expensively of course, as well as not-great pizza, popcorn and snacks.

Cinema 21
616 NW 21st Ave
Independent cinema in Portland. When the art, foreign and independent films finally get to Portland, they premiere here. Popcorn condiments include nutritional yeast, cajun spice, parmesan and spike, and of course real butter. And now with evening parking at Good Sam!!

2021 SE Hawthorne
An independent/second-run theatre, run with tremendous humor and chutzpah. They have real butter, and sometimes, some good stuff (parmesan, yeast) to put on it.

filled under
September 5, 2005 | Permalink

yet more...

Edgefield Theatre
2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale

one of the four McMenamins movie theatres, and just a part of the Edgefield complex. Part of the old Multnomah County Poor Farm. A couple bucks to get in, gotta be over 21. Beer, wine, etc.

Fifth Ave Cinemas
This would be the PSU cinemas, 2 screens, weekend showings. Repertory only (except sneak previews). It's next to impossible to find a schedule for them except when Willamette Week lists them.

The Northwest Film Center
The bleeding edge of old and new art, foreign and indies, plus some of the classics. All offered in a one or two showings only atmosphere!

4122 NE Sandy

One of Portland's grand old movie palaces, it lent its name to the neighborhood. It is now one large (original) screen downstairs, and two smaller screens in the balcony, complete with a new art deco concession stand. Now owned and operated by a non profit who is refurbishing the place, they show second runs, repertory and classics, and other artsy fare.

Kennedy School Theatre
5736 NE 33rd

The latest of the McMenamins empire, a renovated elementary school with, of course, a theatre. Yep. A couple bucks will get you in if you're 21 and older. They have expensive small beers, wines and lameish pizza.

1011 Main St, Vancouver

totally refurbished, dolby sound, 40' screen, plush new highbacked seats. Second runs and classics.

Lake Twin Cinema
105 N State St, Lake Oswego

two screens, totally cute. Second runs.

Laurelhurst Theater and Pub
2735 E Burnside

theater and pub
The Laurelhurst usedta be a cheapie second run house. But the theatre with the best neon in town still features second runs on four screens. AND now, Pizzicato pizza AND beer AND wine!! $3 to get in, the last I checked.

Liberty Theater
315 NE 4th, Camas

two screens. First runs.

Mission Theatre
1624 NW Glisan

The first of the McMenamins movie theatres. Used to be a church. A couple bucks will get you in, but you gotta be over 21. Beer, wine, snacks, all pricey.

SE Milwaukie & Bybee

While this is the farthest away of the theaters I usually go to, it's also the one I hit most frequently. I like their film selections, but I also like the individualized attention -- the ticket taker will admonish noisy teens, and wish you a nice evening in the same breath. They also have real butter for their popcorn! One screen, one picture, generally, at a time.

Mt Hood
401 SE Powell, Gresham

dolby; second runs

1945 SE Water Ave

Not cheap, and not really a lark, as the movies change once every six months or so. But, the OMSI IMAX is one of the really cool, totally surrounding IMAX theatres, and it's a bit overwhelming for some. There will be no food, and no snacks, in the theatre, okay?

The Roseway
7229 NE Sandy Blvd

An old beautiful theatre.

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