Academy Theater Launches Memories Project in Celebration of Renovation

posted by pugcrawler on February 14, 2006 at 2:29 pm

PORTLAND, OR — Portlanders are invited to join in commemorating the life and times of the historic Academy Theater, a gorgeous Streamline Moderne jewel located on Mt. Tabor, in the Southeast Portland neighborhood of Montavilla. The theater is scheduled to re-open next month for the first time in nearly thirty years.

In celebration of the grand re-opening, theater owners Ty Dupuis — proprietor of Flying Pie Pizzeria, and his business partners — local husband and wife team Heyward and Julie Stewart – who are currently in the process of renovating the landmark theater, are issuing a “call for memories,” inviting those who still remember the Academy Theater fondly to share their recollections. Amusing memories, reminiscences of first dates, old photos, and more are welcome.

“We’re stirring up our fair share of dust with this renovation and thought it would be fun to ask other folks to do the same,” said co-owner Julie Stewart. “By encouraging people to dig up old photos, keepsakes and memorabilia of the Academy, we hope to give a whole new generation of movie-goers an appreciation for the theater’s rich history, as well as offer an entertaining glimpse into Portland’s past.”

Originally launched in 1948, the Academy Theater was a popular destination until its closure in the 1970s. Over the years, it fell into disrepair, but a full-scale renovation is currently underway, including careful restoration of the glittering round lobby with its soaring, two-story dome. Great attention is being paid to every detail of the project. Using vintage photos from the very first opening night, even the theater’s signature marquee is being recreated to imbue the building with authentic 1940s charm.

The stories and memorabilia collected over the coming weeks will be carefully assembled and prominently displayed in the theater for all to see, along with the owners' own collection of vintage Academy Theater photographs. Also on display will be a collection of telegrams sent to the original owner on opening night by an impressive group of Hollywood stars including Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Alan Ladd and Carole Lombard.

Those interested in sharing their own memories of the Academy Theater with a new generation of Academy patrons may email them to or mail them directly to the Academy Theater at 7818 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR 97215. (Letters and photos become the property of the Academy Theater and cannot be returned unless arrangements are made with the theater owners in advance.)

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