Wish no more: the Hollywood Theatre will soon open an annex at gate C6 in the Portland International Airport.
“We read a New York Times article about a movie theater in an airport in Tokyo, and it was sort of like, ‘Why don’t we have one?’” said the Hollywood Theatre’s executive director, Doug Whyte. “We don’t have the long layovers, so we can’t show features, but we can show short films that are mainly going to be by Portland artists about Portland and about the state.”
The Hollywood is working with the local architecture firms ZGF, the architects of record for PDX, and Rick Potestio Studio to transform an outdated business center into a multimedia arts space that will echo the classic cinema feel of the Hollywood, while also relating back to the airport. The programming will feature a combination of short films and residencies, where media artists will be invited to create performance and multi-disciplinary works.
The Hollywood team anticipates 5 to 8 million people will pass the space annually.
“That’s been a fundamental creative challenge for us, as we think about experience design,” said Justen Harn, the theater’s director of programs and community engagement. “How do we engage people in a dynamic way when they are waiting for a flight or excited to get home after having returned from a trip?”
The project is two years in the planning. But it was the awarding of a $125,000 Creative Heights grant from the Oregon Community Foundation in September that made the project a reality. Harn said there’s still significant fundraising and planning to do in order to meet their goal of opening this spring or summer.
“This will be the first of its kind in the United States as far as we know,” says Harn. “For us it’s very exciting to explore.”
For more on developments at the Hollywood Theatre, including its quest to screen 70mm film, including Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, “The Hateful Eight,” listen to our story on “State of Wonder.”