City Cast

The Best Movie Theaters in Portland

Adrian González
Adrian González
Posted on August 29
The Academy Theater's marquee list up at night.

I’m a sucker for a neon marquee. (Courtesy of Academy Theater PDX)

Few things bring me as much joy as cinema. Whether you want to catch the latest hit or are looking for a screening of an old favorite, Portland is undoubtedly one of the best places in the country for film lovers. Here’s where to catch a flick in PDX.

Indie Favorites

  • Hollywood Theatre: Go for the new releases, stay for the award-winning programming of classics like “Thelma & Louise,” playing a few times this week.
  • Cinema 21: Originally opening its doors in 1921 as The State Theater, the locally-owned theater is home to the Portland International Film Festival. I recommend their Saturday Morning Classics programming, which features films starring Hollywood’s legends like Audrey Hepburn and James Dean.
  • Academy Theater: The popcorn is delicious and they have an extended food & drink menu that includes sushi — a wild movie theater snack, but I respect it.
Church of Film curator Muriel Lucas introduces a screening in enviously cool purple boots.

Church of Film curator Muriel Lucas introduces a screening in enviously cool boots. (@churchoffilm / Instagram)

Movies Worth Worship

Let the programmers take you on a cinematic ride across town. “​​Church of Film is consistently one of my favorite viewing experiences in town. I can't count the number of weird, surprising, nearly unknown films I've seen thanks to their showings. It rotates between the Clinton Street Theater, Dream House, and Red Fox. You know you're going to see something you haven't seen before,” says John Notarianni, lead producer for City Cast Portland.

Take Yourself to the Movies

City Cast Portland producer Giulia Fiaoni recommends the Laurelhurst Theater and Pub. “The theater is 100 years old and the rooms are pretty tiny, making it a cozy spot to catch a film on your own, if you’re a solo moviegoer. They sell pizza and beer for cheap and play new and old films any day of the week. There are also several great bars and restaurants surrounding the theater to visit while you’re there.”

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