Big news on the local film front: Cinema 21 is expanding! The theater has taken over a next-door space (formerly a realty office) and construction is currently underway on two new auditoriums, one a 50 seater, the other 80. Both will have digital screens; the main auditorium will not be altered, noted owner Tom Ranieri in an email, and will continue to screen both digital and 35mm presentations.
"Adding the two new screens will provide us with the programming flexibility we've always desired," writes Ranieri. "We will be able to hold popular movies much longer than we do now, which is something that makes film distributors happy; at the same time, with additional screens we can go after movies that we used to pass on because our only screen was occupied. Because our main auditorium is so large (well over 500 seats) we plan to expand the range of film we play to include the so-called 'crossover' titles that surface typically during the holiday and awards season and will benefit from our large capacity. This project will simply make us more competitive."
Read: They'll be able to make money off of popular movies in the big theater, while still showing cool indie stuff in the smaller ones.
Additionally, Cinema 21 will finally supply the variable they've been missing in the beer/cheep movie equation by adding Escape from New York pizza to their menu. I feel strongly that this is the greatest thing that has ever happened in the history of Portland's cinema culture.
They're also adding new bathrooms (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! amirite ladies) and a new concessions counter, promising more food and drink options. The new auditoriums are scheduled to open in late August.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!