Rain, rain, go away? Not in Portland, Oregon, where the proliferation of independently-owned movie theaters provides movie lovers of all kinds a respite from the drizzle, and in many cases, a home state microbrew at the same time. Documentaries? Got it. Foreign? What language would you like to hear? Indies, classics, and everything in between can be found in the Portland metro area. Here are just a few to get you started.
Cinema 21, located in Northwest Portland, shows some of the best in art house and independent movies. Host to the Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Cinema 21 is also oftentimes the only place to see the lesser known indie films that don’t make it to the big chains. Located on Northwest 21st Avenue, there are plenty of afterhours places for drinks or dinner.
The Laurelhurst Theatre was the pioneer in revitalizing East Burnside. An Art Deco theatre since its opening in the 1920’s, it was revamped and reinvented as a movie pub about ten years ago. Restaurants and stores slowly followed, bringing this run-down area of Portland back to life. Featuring older run movies as well as independent films, you can’t beat the price: $3. Great for the budget!
The Clinton Street Theatre in Southeast Portland hosts the Portland Underground Film Festival, or PUFF. Opened in 1915, it is one of the oldest operating movie houses in the United States. It’s run by self-proclaimed film freaks, so expect everything and anything that’s not mainstream. One of its most- loved traditions is held almost every Saturday night; The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Be sure to bring your umbrella!
The Hollywood Theatre is Portland’s only non-profit theatre. It’s run by Film Action Oregon, helping local screenwriters, directors, and producers make high quality films and find a place to showcase them. Featuring local artists, you can also catch classics and foreign films here. Active in arts education, it’s a great place to catch a flick and help a cause at the same time.