Forget the traditional candy and soda, here in Portland when we go to a movie theater it’s all about beer and wine. While the larger, first-run spots tend to serve the traditional overpriced theater fare, many theaters throughout Portland serve beer, wine, food, and even hard alcohol. And we don’t pay exorbitant prices on it. Of course, we also still have popcorn at these places. Why mess with tradition?
Here are seven of our favorite movie theaters where you won’t have to smuggle in a flask. Did we miss your favorite spot for a pint and a film? Let us know on our Facebook
The Bagdad Theater has been open for almost 90 years now. Founded in 1927 and restored by McMenamins in 1991, the interior is relatively unchanged from its original form. McMenamins more or less invented the Portland dining-movie-theater with the Bagdad, and it continues to be a great place for a beer and slice of pizza, and counters are provided. In recent years, it switched from showing second-run films to showing first-run, so you can come here for opening nights. (3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd.; 503-249-7474)
A popular date spot, Living Room Theaters differs from others on the list in that it offers a full dinner menu and full bar. Grab dinner and a drink in the lounge, or have it brought to your recliner seats with tables in the movie theater, which is styled after a home entertainment system. (341 SW 10th Ave.; 971-222-2010)
Another McMenamins location, the Kennedy School is a multi-purpose luxury facility, perfect for an evening staycation with its multiple bars and restaurants, a hotel, and, of course, a movie theater. A full bar means you can knock back a few cocktails while watching second-run films, and then safely crash in your hotel room rather than driving home. It’s a great date spot for parents looking to get away for a night. (5736 NE 33rd Ave.; 503-288-2117)
Another historical theater, the Laurelhurst has been open and running since 1923. At the time, it was considered the suburbs of Portland. Now it’s smack dab in the middle of the Laurelhurst and Kerns neighborhoods, showing second-run films and serving pizza, popcorn, and local micros on draft, including by the pitcher. It’s eminently recognizable by its 1920’s style peacock colored lights. (2735 E Burnside St.; 503-232-5511)
Yet another historic theater, the Hollywood theater is known for its beautiful facade and lush interior. It’s the place to go for indie-flicks, foreign films, and film festivals, such as the Lovecraft Film Festival. It also occasionally shows blockbusters; recently, Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful 8” screened here in glorious 70 millimeter, with the famed director himself making a surprise appearance to introduce the film. (4122 NE Sandy Blvd.; 503-281-4215)
With the popularity of dine-in theaters, it makes sense that Regal would want to get in on the action, converting a more indie theater into one that also serves beer. While it’s still definitely a Regal theater, complete with the inane movie trivia before the trailers, The Fox Tower is the place to catch oscar-bait and occasional foreign films alongside the big blockbusters. Beer here is reminiscent of the larger theaters, in that it’s in smaller bottles and is more expensive. (846 SW Park Ave.; 844-462-7342)
An independently owned theater, Cinema 21 is a staple of Northwest Portland. Arthouse films, award winning cartoons, and film festivals are all screened here. Most famously, Cinema 21 is home to the Hump Film Festival
. Grab a beer and watch some locally made, sex/body-positive, iconoclastic pornography with your friends! (616 NW 21st Ave.; 503-223-4515)
Hollywood Theater photo and Laurelhurst Theater photo via Wikimedia Commons
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