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The 24th Birthday Tour

Nearly 24 years ago today, I was born in Portland, Oregon. This is my native city and I love it dearly. I love strolling through the torrential rain and the gentle sunshine, often within the same day! I love walking across the Burnside Bridge while looking out over the Willamette. I love the Saturday Market, Ground Kontrol, Tri-Met, Voodoo Doughnut, the Classical Chinese Garden, the Portland Trail Blazers, Guardian Games, the Pearl District, the Portland International Airport, the White Stag sign, the Portland Timbers, OHSU and the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers.

Far more relevant to this blog, Portland is a wonderful place to be a film geek. Sure, it may not be as great a city for movies as Los Angeles, New York, Houston or maybe even Seattle, but we’ve still got so much here. There’s the historic Laurelhurst Theater,  one of many independently-owned theaters in Portland that serve beer with their films.  There’s Lents Park, where movies play for free on summer nights, usually just after some live entertainment from a local band. There’s the Clinton Street Theater that plays The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night and Repo! The Genetic Opera every Friday. And of course, there’s that champion of local amateur filmmakers and organizer of countless film festivals, the Portland NW Film Center.

I’ve visited many such institutions in Portland and I’ve developed a deep love and appreciation for them. And that’s what this week will be dedicated to. Every day from now until my birthday — July 18th — I’ll be publishing an entry about one of my favorite theaters in Portland. Some of them will be big multiplexes and some will be tiny arthouses. A few of them were built in the 21st century and a few are literally older than talking pictures. All of them have deep sentimental value to the city as a whole and to me in particular, and I’ll be showing you around every one.

Not only will I be sharing my favorite memories of these theaters, but I’ll also be going over what they play, what history they have and what other landmarks are in their immediate areas. I’ll even be showing some photos as well. It’s my hope and my goal that any fellow Portlanders reading will learn something new about their hometown and gain a new appreciation for it. To those who don’t call Portland home, you’ll want to buy your airline ticket just to visit these places if I’ve done my job right.

So, my good friends and gentle readers, allow me to be your tour guide for the next week. Welcome to Portland!

The Dante's parking lot near SW 3rd and Burnside across the street from Voodoo Doughnut. I did not photoshop this.

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