A very independent theater that focuses on showing art-house films, Cinema 21 shows anything from historically renowned films (currently Blade Runner) to the newest and most popular independent hits (such as Science of Sleep). It also hosts the annual Portland Gay and Lesbian Film Festival each fall.
Cinema 21616 N.W. 21st Ave.Phone: 503-223-4515Now playing: Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten; Blade Runner: The Final Version; Total Denial
For movie times visit: www.cinema21.comA very independent theater that focuses on showing art-house films, Cinema 21 shows anything from historically renowned films (currently Blade Runner) to the newest and most popular independent hits (such as Science of Sleep). It also hosts the annual Portland Gay and Lesbian Film Festival each fall.
Hollywood Theatre4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd.Phone: 503-493-1128Starting today: Kahdak; If I Didn’t Care; King Corn; Into the Wild; Manufactured Landscapes; Once; Grindhouse Film Festival (Nov. 17 and Nov. 18)For movie times visit: www.hollywoodtheatre.org
The Hollywood Theatre is one of the many Portland second-run movie theaters. It stands out from the rest because of the typically unseen films and festivals it will show-anything from the documentary King Corn to this weekend’s Grindhouse Film Festival, which will feature our favorite Kung Fu and exploitation movies from yesteryear.
Movie Madness4320 S.E. Belmont St.Phone: 503-234-4363Sun. to Thurs.: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.Fri. to Sat.: 10 a.m. to midnight
Movie Madness has everything, from the most obscure German surrealist film to any and all of Fellini’s classics. No rental place in Portland-at that, probably in the entire Northwest-can compare to Movie Madness in terms of selection. Everything is sub-divided by categories, such as director, foreign, Oscar-winners, horror and new release. The store is like a museum: They have original posters, memorabilia and wardrobes from movies, including the knife from the original Psycho and the bust of Marvin’s blown-out head from Pulp Fiction. It’s a great store and an even better experience.NW Film Center934 S.W. Salmon St.Phone: 503-221-1156 ext. 10Now showing: 34th Northwest Film and Video FestivalFor full schedule visit: www.nwfilm.org/nowshowing
From teaching filmmaking to merely showing good movies, the NW Film Center does it all. Students can use credits earned at the film center’s School of Film toward Portland State degrees and can also get into the center’s movie screenings for free if they show their PSU ID. The center is one of the best opportunities to get into filmmaking and learn more about films for the many, many Portlanders who love the art.Watch This!916 W. BurnsidePhone: 503-223-1791Mon. to Sat.: Noon to 10 p.m.Sun.: Noon to 7 p.m.
Watch This! sits unnoticed by most people who are in a hurry to get a slice of pizza from Rocco’s or a book from Powell’s. But this hole-in-the-wall movie store is one of Portland’s gems, boasting a unique collection of art-house films. Run by two teachers who have a passion for and a vast knowledge of film, you can find almost anything, including collections of work by the best directors, such as David Lynch, Akira Kurosawa and Jean Renoir, among many others. Inexpensive rental plans are a huge plus.
Backspace115 N.W. Fifth Ave.Phone: 503-248-2900Mon. to Fri.: 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.Sat. to Sun.: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Backspace is the hipster-geek capital of Portland. It’s open late, has pay-to-play computer and videogame systems, a gallery show space, and they recently started putting on all ages concerts. They also sell Stumptown coffee and vegetarian food. It’s $6 an hour to play games, but even if you don’t want to play, it’s a great late-night hangout spot with free Wi-Fi.
CD/Game Exchange1428 S.E. 36th Ave. (Seven other Portland locations)Phone: 503-233-1708Mon. to Fri.: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.Sat.: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.Sun.: Noon to 6 p.m.
Sure, they have locations in other parts of the nation. The word chain might come to mind. But CD/Game Exchange is sure as hell better than those other stores that are much, much more like chains. The exchange has a great selection of used video games, including Nintendo and Sega, as well as a big selection of used CDs. The staff is friendly and when you walk in, you don’t feel like you’re in a Wal-Mart.
Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade511 N.W. Couch St.Phone: 503-796-9364Sun. to Thurs.: Noon to 2 a.m.Fri. and Sat.: Noon to 2:30 a.m.
Do you like classic arcade games such as Street Fighter 2 and PacMan? If so, Ground Kontrol is definitely for you. Besides hosting roomfuls of classic games, Ground Kontrol turns into a full-functioning bar after 7 p.m. and a venue for great local bands a couple nights of the week. Check out Black Sundays with DJ Nate C, the weekly metal night. Mad head-banging and Mortal Kombat? Sweet.
Guardian Games303 S.E. Third Ave.Phone: 503-238-4000Mon. to Thur.: Noon to 8 p.m.Fri.: Noon to 10 p.m.Sat.: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.Sun.: Noon to 8 p.m.
Guardian Games is the perfect place for gaming, and they go beyond just the typical videogame–you can play board and card games too. All of the electronic systems cost $5 an hour to play, but a $30 yearly membership cuts that cost to $2 an hour and gives you four free hours of play per month. They host multiple kinds of gaming specials each day: Wednesday is “Ladies D&D Night,” while Saturday’s have a $1 Pokémon league. Board games are free on Sundays.
Wunderland: Avalon3451 S.E. Belmont St.Phone: 503-238-1617Sun. to Fri.: Noon to midnightSat.: 11 a.m. to midnght
Woo-hoo! Everybody loves cheap arcades, and with games that cost around 20 cents, Wunderland is definitely doing something right. There are also small little movie screens that show second-run films. Overall it’s a cool place, but it can be overrun with little kids. Also, the videogames are in various states of disrepair. Go late at night to avoid the brat contingent.
Jackpot Records203 S.W. 9th Ave.Phone: 503-222-09903736 S.E. HawthornePhone: 503-239-7561Mon. to Thurs.: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.Fri. and Sat.: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.Sun.: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The trendiest lil’ record store(s) in Portland, Jackpot Records practices the quality over quantity approach to record store management. They don’t have everything, but what they do have is exactly what you’re looking for. Go here to buy the newest releases from the best of independent music.
Everyday Music1313 W. BurnsidePhone: 503-274-09611931 N.E. Sandy Blvd.Phone: 503-239-7610Everyday: 9 a.m. to midnight
Everyday Music, besides having a very descriptive name, is best known for its massive collection of new and used CDs. This is the place to go if you want to find a replacement copy of a Radiohead album or a used copy of a new release. The big collection makes browsing fun-it’s easy to find almost anything you want. They also buy absolutely everything, even those embarrassing Britney Spears CDs.
Trade Up Music4701 S.E. Division St.Phone: 503-236-88001834 N.E. Alberta St.Phone: 503-335-8800Everyday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tired of buying other people’s records? Head over to Trade Up and get the tools to you need to make and record your own noise. Please, just keep it in your basement. Trade Up has a constantly rotating stock of guitar, amplifiers, effects pedals and all instruments in between. The used nature of the equipment lends itself to great prices, and everybody needs a stack of guitar amps in their basement-Trade Up makes it easy.
Powell’s City of Books (The Rare Book Room)1005 W. Burnside St. (Fourth Floor)Phone: 800-878-7323 ext. 1270Everyday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
Portlanders owe the city’s perception as a town full of literary geeks primarily to Powell’s. The bookstore is every book-nerd’s haven. Inside this city of books is a small room that seems ordinary. However, it’s anything but that. Most Portlanders have wandered through the stacks of the rare book room, which includes original prints and rare copies of books written by the most famous authors. Wander in here sometime and geek out to the books. Make sure to be careful with them-many are worth hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Reading Frenzy921 S.W. Oak St.Phone: 503-274-1449Mon. to Sat.: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.Sun.: Noon to 6 p.m.
This little store focuses mainly on local literary selections, especially zines and other independently published works. The selection is limited, but most everything is worthwhile and interesting. If you know someone who publishes a zine, you can probably find it here.
Cameron’s Books and Magazines336 S.W. Third Ave.Phone: 503-228-2391Mon. to Sat.: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The antique books in Cameron’s, if anything, are incredibly fun to browse. There are Life magazines from the 1950s that give you an amazing perspective on how the magazine, and world, has developed. They also have plenty of original and rare books–they just got in actual first editions of some of Hemingway’s works. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, check the store out for a little history lesson.
–Compiled by David Holley and Ed Johnson