News from March 2006

The Academy Theater

Occurred March 04, 2006 (Permalink)

The Academy Theater (offsite) is a brightly painted Streamline Moderne theater that opened on SE Stark in 1948. Open until 1974, it was a printing business(!) until earlier this year. Unknown to me until a few weeks ago, the people who were renovating the place are turning it back into a movie theater--one with $3 second-run movies, beer and pizza from Flying Pie Pizza (offsite) next door.

I was wandering down Stark Street this evening when I noticed a man working on the ticket window outside the Academy. He identified himself as the proprietor and invited me to go on inside and take a look around. There are three theaters inside, he explained, ranging in size from 74 to 125 seats. I had a look inside; those theaters are indeed quite cozy, just like the Laurelhurst. They have standard stadium seats like what one finds at most modern day AMC or Century houses, though I didn't see tables for the booze and the pizza. I did take note of the huge speakers behind the screen and hung in various corners of the rooms, however. The ceilings are black, the walls maroon, the floor bluish, and the mouldings might've been hemlock or fir. Not too surprising, given that Mr. Plywood is down the street.

The lobby is downright odd. The whole thing is decked out in turquoise paint, there's a huge cylindrical opening above the main lobby that reminds me of the inside of a lopsided top hat, and there's an enormous black refridgerator too. The bathroom was all white and black tile and has enormous urinals that go all the way to the floor! The proprietor explained that, except for the new seats, he was trying to go for a realistic 1940s theater feel, which explains the undulating, flowing lines of the lobby and the blue and gold color scheme on the marquee of the building. Apparently the liquor license and the neon won't be installed until the end of March, alas.

Upstairs is a play area with brightly colored floor tiles of red, yellow, green and blue. At first I reasoned that the purpose of that was to keep the projectionists from going mad, but apparently the real reason is that they are having some sort of day-care arrangement up there. That seems a bit fishy to me, but sure... moving along, I snuck into the the area on the second floor surrounding the big top hat stovepipe above the lobby. The building is indeed made out of concrete, though the exterior seemed to be heavily stuccoed.

And finally, we get to the projection booth. Seems that they went for more or less standard-issue film projectors and DTS analog sound. Nothing too fancy, though you know I'm waiting for a second-run digital theater to pop up in town. In any case, let's wish them luck; they seem to be putting a nice place together in my part of town. The grand opening is next Saturday at 18:00!

After my travels around the theater were over, I went to the Bipartisan and spent an hour eating pie, drinking, and listening to a jam group that was played all sorts of jigs and reels. Now if only I'd had somebody to dance with... all in all, it's fantastic to see new businesses going in on Stark so close to my house!

Cross-Country Skiing at Trillium Lake

Occurred March 05, 2006 (Permalink)

Lara and I tried out cross-country skiing at Trillium Lake near Hood. Fun!

Happiness is...

Occurred March 09, 2006 (Permalink)

A surprise snowstorm in the middle of the night that you notice by accident and enjoy in solitude. Now with pics!

Scottish Country Dance Ball

Occurred March 11, 2006 (Permalink)

Today was the annual ball and workshop of the Portland chapter of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. Like last year, both events were held at the Masonic Friendship Center at NE 56th and Sandy Blvd; this year, I signed up for the advanced class. The morning half of the class was taught by Maureen Lyon from British Columbia; the afternoon was taught by Sarah Harriman of Austin, TX. I learned quite a few new dances, and (I think) I've actually finally figured out how to pas de basque. Maybe.

Between the dance and the ball, I went to the grand opening of the Academy Theater (the same one discussed last week). My brilliant charm persuaded the girl taking tickets at the door to let me in for free to look around; for half an hour, I enjoyed the Melodic Mamas, a four-woman country music troupe. They played quite a few instruments--a bass, banjo, guitar, mandolin, accordian, and a strange accordian-like hexagonal instrument. Along the way out, I met the wife of the man who owns the building; they and the other neighbors were quite pleased that the building is once again a theater. I wonder, though, how long they'll tolerate the obviously wrong "Since 1967" neon sign on the marquee.

Departing from the grand opening, I went to the ball, decked out in kilt and sporran. I didn't dance as well at the ball as I'd wished to dance, but in the end I had fun. For certain, it's fun to dance and chatter with the ladies who drive here from Bend; it's fabulous to have enough people to make several sets. I also got pictures of Gloria's Wee Jig, though they're a bit blurry.

Doggie Birthday Party

Occurred March 12, 2006 (Permalink)

I went to a doggie birthday party at the Bruemmers'. Wow, Great Danes get big.

Toilet Surgery

Occurred March 18, 2006 (Permalink)

I performed my first toilet surgery today; I replaced the flaky screechy piece of junk inlet valve with a nice new one from Fluidmaster. The toilet fills a little bit faster but it's MUCH quieter! Woo!

Snow Shoeing At Mt. Adams

Occurred March 19, 2006 (Permalink)

Today, Lara, Eliza, Dave and I set out to go snow shoeing somewhere around Mt. Adams. Somebody picked out the Eagle Loop trail, but the four of us quickly decided to go off-trail and head towards a big lake. Unfortunately, the lake turned out to be a huge clear-cut lot that had been covered with snow; had we gone in the summertime, this area would have been hideously ugly (c.f. the pictures of the Gillette Lake Hike). Since we had only our eyes and a GPS to track our travels, I cannot give a precise tale of where we went, other than to say that we went roughly southwest down to the first clearcut, southwards through the area, then east up a ridge for lunch. Then we went back roughly along the same route, had dinner at the 6th Street Bistro, and went home.


Occurred March 27, 2006 (Permalink)

In a flash: Mazamas basic climbing school started, Chelle visited for Spring Break and we went hiking, the OLS paper is undergoing revisions, and now I'm sick.

Spring Sunset Pictures

Occurred March 28, 2006 (Permalink)


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