Cinema 21 celebrates 83 years; current owner has been at the helm for the last 30

posted by CSWalczak on May 11, 2010 at 10:40 am

PORTLAND, OR — Even in a city with a several independent cinemas, the Cinema 21 stands out: it remains a single screen survivor of the many changes that have killed many other movie houses over the decades. A key factor in its longevity is its owner and operator, Tom Ranieri, whose programming skill keeps this movie house going with a strong community following.

The brand is still in place — witness recent premieres such as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (now playing) or “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” or “The Wrestler.” But the work require to maintain the brand, and what the brand can be expected to reap in ticket sales, has transformed significantly during Ranieri’s tenure.

“A slow-moving glacier has passed through and changed the landscape,” Ranieri says. “Things have changed dramatically. Videotape changed people’s experience of watching a movie. Now it requires more of an event to get people to come out. And maybe that’s only a cheap movie and a beer and a slice of pizza. And maybe some movies are events in themselves. But just having a good film or a solid film to show is easily dismissed. People look at that and think ‘I’ll catch in on DVD or VOD.’”

Read the whole story in the Oregonian.

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Comments (2)

terrywade on May 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

Thanks ‘Tom’ for a nice run movie theatre. Love the color lights and curtains and special 35mm intermission previews you show at times. Keep up the good work,showmanship is on at Portland’s Cinema 21. If your visiting the Portland OR area check out this special cinema. Great to see a scope print on your curved screen with the stereo surrounds up. Hope your still doing the Cinema 21 movie flyers. See ya on my next trip up to the Pacific Northwest.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on May 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm

My many theater cronies know me as the “curtain freak” and I especially enjoy seeing them well used in old musicals.

One of the best use of many curtains is in “The Great Ziegfeld” starring William Powell, Best Picture 1936. One memorable scene features a humongous revolving stage with a circular, wrap around Austrian style curtain. This scene runs for about seven minutes and takes my breath away each and every time.

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