Cinema 21

616 N.W. 21st Avenue,
Portland, OR 97209

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Related Websites

Cinema 21, Portland (Official)

Additional Info

Functions: Movies (Classic), Movies (Film Festivals), Movies (Independent)

Previous Names: State Theatre, Vista Theatre, 21st Avenue Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 503.223.4515

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News About This Theater

Cinema 21©...Portland Oregon

Opened in February 1925 as the State Theatre with 730 seats, and a William Wood 2 Manual/8 Ranks theatre organ. It was renamed Vista Theatre in 1941, and in 1942 it became the 21st Avenue Theatre. It became Cinema 21 from March 30, 1962. Cinema 21 is located in a thriving area of Portland on 21st Avenue. It is open, showing movies and appears to be in great shape. It has some glowing neon that really stands out at night. This one is a treasure!

Cinema 21 hosts several film festivals, including the Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. In 2014 an extra two screen were added.

Contributed by Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

prpolen on August 3, 2005 at 2:57 am

I love this theater. I saw so many classics here—Hitchcock, Bergman, Kurosawa—as well many obscure movies. I hope that it will continue to be a great theater.

William on January 18, 2007 at 7:43 am

From Lost Memory’s post of July 12th 2005.

This theatre was also known as State Theatre, Vista Theatre and 21st Avenue Theatre.

newyorkmcgee on December 2, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Having recently moved to the portland area, i must say that i love the cinema 21!
I’ve seen the following movies here…

King of king: a fistful of quarters
Blade runner: final cut (which was held over for a month)
What would jesus buy?
Because the bible told me so

Bewtween this theatre, the fox, and the hollywood, i can pretty much see every small release movie out there…although i wish they all played at the 21.

1st weekend shows are $4.00! shows before 6 are $6 and evening shows are 8. Refreshments are cheap. I get a GIANT soda for 2 bucks…and a king size pack of m and m’s for 1.75.

Coming from nyc going to a movie and getting a drink and candy for 7.75 warms my soul. I can take my girlfriend…and the whole kit and kaboodle costs less than a manhattan ticket.

Douglas on July 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I worked at this theatre briefly while going to college. They were showing Polanski’s Macbeth at the time. I must have seen portions of it a hundred times. When the late show would start and no one was there we’d signal the projectionist and he’d turn it off so we could all go home. One night I couldn’t remember if I’d turned off the hot butter machine. Not driving at the time, I walked back at 3am just to make sure. Of course, I’d already turned it off.

MagicLantern on February 15, 2011 at 1:56 am

Also known as The Aero at some point in its life?

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 9:54 am

A 2011 photo can be seen here.

rivest266 on August 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm

This reopened as Cinema 21 on March 30th, 1962. Grand opening ad in photo section.

SteveSwanson on May 28, 2014 at 7:51 am

I’m not sure of the exact reopening. Cinemas 21 has expanded, adding 2 screens and a new snack bar. The main auditorium still has 35mm film and digital projection, while the 2 smaller screens are digital only. Becasue of construction constraints, the booths were squeezed into narrow crawlspaces, with controls handled from the main booth. I found the 2 new auditoriums to have ample legroom and adjustable armrests. They now have beer & wine at the snack bar,

50sSNIPES on April 29, 2019 at 10:26 am

There Is A Snipe That Is Missing I’ve Found About “Providence Park” (During The Time It Was Multnomah Stadium) In 1956 When The Portland Beavers Came To The Park. The Theater Snipe Has A Background Of A Baseball Game With The Correct Arial Text For The Theater With IMPACT Fonting For The Big Letters. And The 6-#### Number Displaces At The Bottom. I Think This Belongs To This Theater Or A Closed One Nearby. I Don’t Know.

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