Cinemagic is one of my top three Portland movie houses.
It's tiny, adorable, unpretentious and historic. Built in
1914, it's small yet quite festive neon sign is tucked into a corner at 20th and Hawthorne. It makes its living showing one Good Film a month. I had the great opportunity to work there when I was still in my 20's, mostly just as a ticket-taker, but every now and then as the projectionist! I got to play my Frank Sinatra cd for the people waiting for the show, and thread the movie into the projector. The little room above was full of the large cameras and huge plates holding the film. It was very exciting learning how to do it. Once it was time to start the movie, I would hold my breath as I first dimmed the lights, then opened the beautiful gold drapes (really!) and started the movie. Then I had to adjust the camera if it was blurry or out of the frame. Scary stuff..what if I screwed it all up? I'd have the anger of the crowd upon me!
My absolute favorite movie house right now, is the Laurelhurst. On 28th and Burnside this also small, adorable, unpretentious and historic place is where I took refuge last summer during that heinous heat wave. I discovered the joys of an afternoon children's matinee...along with the pizza and beer on the menu. What a joy! Escape the heat, have a cold beer and suddenly the children's movie is a bit more funny! By the end of two hours and two beers, Nacho Libre was hilarious. Laurelhurst is also a great people watching place. Small enough to foster a certain comraderie, but well-known and beloved by some pretty interesting characters. And some poeple with Great Style!
Greg and I had some unexpected childcare the other night and went to the Mission Theater, on the northwest side. I used to go there when I lived in the cockroach-infested appartment house, The Lawn. The Mission is beautiful! Big, dark wood and curved staircases, a giant balcony, lovely white carved wood detail inside, and a great location overlooking the Pearl. It's great, what more could you ever ask from a cinematic experience?