Hollywood Theatre (Portland, Oregon)

The Hollywood Theatre is a historic movie theater in northeast Portland, Oregon, owned by a non-profit organization. It is the central historical point of the Hollywood District. The Theatre is located at 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, across the street from the first suburban Fred Meyer store, which is currently occupied by Rite Aid. The Hollywood Theatre was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[2]

Hollywood Theatre
Portland Historic Landmark[1]
The marquee and front facade on Sandy Boulevard.
Location4122 NE Sandy Boulevard
Portland, Oregon
Coordinates45°32′08″N 122°37′14″W
ArchitectBennes & Herzog
NRHP reference #83002172 [2]
Added to NRHPSeptember 1, 1983

Commissioned by Jensen and Herberg, architects John Virginius Bennes and Harry A. Herzog designed the building in multiple styles including Spanish Colonial (exterior) and after the Baths of Caracalla and Bernini (interior).[3] The theater opened on July 19th 1926, with 1,491 seats, as a venue for vaudeville and silent movies. It became a Cinerama theater in 1961, utilizing the ultra-widescreen process until 1963. It was still labelled a "Cinerama theater" until 1969, running exclusively 70mm films. On June 13th 1968, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey opened, and ran for over 10 months.

In 1975, the theater was divided into three auditoriums, and ran second run films throughout the '80s and '90s.

The theater became a non-profit in 1997. Starting in 2011, major renovations were done, including new seats, screens, sound systems and an updated paint job. In 2013, a Kickstarter campaign raised the funds necessary to erect a new marquee, and in 2015, 70mm capability was re-installed.

The Hollywood Theatre currently screens first run films; along with a wide range of well known and obscure classic cinema, offbeat exploitation, educational, independent and experimental films; with a focus of screening repertory films on 35mm and 70mm. The theater also has hosted many special guests since 2015, including Quentin Tarantino, Pam Grier, Michael Ironside, Piper Laurie and Joe Dante. The main auditorium has a 50-foot screen and 384 seats, while two smaller auditoriums are located upstairs, each seating 111.

The theater is self-owned and operated by a non-profit organization of the same name. Its mission is to preserve and maintain the historic theater and use it to present a diverse program of films.

Airport theater

In December 2015, Hollywood Theatre announced plans to open an annex theater in Portland International Airport. The theater will seat 18 with standing room for 10 to 20 people and also have space for live performances. The theatre will show short films no longer than 20 minutes and be free of charge.[4] In mid-February 2017, it was reported that the airport "microcinema" would open on February 23 and have seating for 17 people.[5]

Movie Madness

In 2017, the Hollywood Theatre purchased the iconic Portland video store Movie Madness, and its collection of over 90,000 movies.


  1. Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (July 2010), Historic Landmarks -- Portland, Oregon (XLS), retrieved October 3, 2013.
  2. "Oregon National Register List" (PDF). Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. June 6, 2011. p. 34. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  3. Fitzgibbon, Joe. "Hollywood Theatre". The Oregon Encyclopedia. Portland State University. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  4. Brosseau, Carli (December 25, 2015). "Coming attractions: A miniature movie theater at PDX". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  5. Wang, Amy (February 16, 2017). "New mini-cinema will show free movies at Portland International Airport". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
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