The Oregonian’s weekend section featured three movie theaters you’ve probably not heard of. I eagerly turned to the article, thinking that I had probably been to the theaters they were discussing, because I’m such a fan of off-beat theaters. Upon reading the article, it seems I can check that attitude. I’d been to one, Cinemagic, but the second theater mentioned, PSU’s student-run theater, I have still never visited despite living within a mile from it for four years. The third I had no idea it even existed even though it is less than two miles from my house. Kelly and I decided to check it out over Spring Break. Here is our tour of The Portlander.
The Portlander is an 80 seat movie theater inside a “Travel Center” which is what truck stops seem to be calling themselves these days. If you look to the left of the Marketplace sign, you will see that indeed there is an advertised Cinema. We walked in and were in a convenience store.
We sort of stumbled about a bit before walking through the convenience store’s back entrance into a concourse that contained a fast-food restaurant, a shoe repair shop, a chiropractor, the sign for the cinema and some restrooms. We had to ask how to get into the cinema. It turned out you buy tickets at the fast food place and the nice lady buzzes you in. They show second-run movies and the cost is $3.00
Inside, it looks just like a cinema. There are posters, stadium seating, comfortable chairs. You can even bring ice cream or any other item bought at the fast food place into the show. Our movie unfortunately had some tracking issues and I would suggest that if it happens to you during your visit to immediately pop up and go find someone, because there is no one in the projection booth making sure things are running smoothly. Aside from those tracking issues, it was a great experience.
After the show, we wandered through the rest of the Travel Center. Kelly observed that with the laundromat, the urgent care center, the restaurant and all the other things listed above, that this would be an even better place to be stranded than the airport in that Tom Hanks movie.
I suggest you plan your visit to the Portlander soon.