Hollywood Theatre fundraising for building upgrades


Building entryway to be revamped to better reflect historical design

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Hollywood Theatre in northeast Portland is fundraising for repairs to the lower facade of the building.

Doug Whyte, the non-profit’s executive director, said about $75,000 is still needed from community donations out of their original budget of $284,000 for the upgrades. Previous funds came from grants, donations, and the non-profit’s own budget.

Whyte told KOIN 6 News that masonry failure, water damage, and cracks on the exterior of the building are some of the needed repairs. In addition, they will be redesigning the entryway to “bring back some of the original historical elements” from its 1926 design.

“We’re going to have above the door some really nice lighting and some arched sculpture there. So it’s going to be really bringing back the magic to coming to the Hollywood, which is a historic movie palace,” Whyte said.

Masonry failure, water damage, and cracks are prevalent on the Hollywood Theatre’s lower facade. January 09, 2020 (KOIN/Danny Peterson).

If all goes according to plan, the construction will go underway starting summer of 2020.

Whyte said the upper facade, the marquee, and the front doors of the building have all been recently upgraded or restored, but that “everything surrounding the doors, basically from the marquee down,” is what needs attention. That will include redoing the floor and walls near the exterior entryway.

The theater originally had an octagonal ticket booth column in the front but it was ultimately decided not to bring that back since it could obstruct wheelchair access, among other problems related to foot traffic flow. Instead, a flat octagon stamp on the floor outlining where the original ticket booth was will be placed there, Whyte said.

The Hollywood Theatre’s upgraded entry will include an octagon stamp of where the historic ticket booth used to be. January 09, 2020 (Hollywood Theatre).

The Hollywood Theatre was one of the most architecturally renowned historic palace theaters on the west coast when it originally opened over 90 years ago, the theater’s website stated.

So beloved was the movie house that local residents changed the name of their neighborhood to the Hollywood District. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The theater is one of the few in town that still runs film projection for 16 mm, 35 mm, and 70 mm formats.

The non-profit organization that runs the theater also operates local movie rental store and movie museum Movie Madness in southeast Portland.

Local architect Paul Falsetto and Bremik construction firm are handling the renovation.

To donate, visit The Hollywood Theatre’s website.

The Hollywood Theatre’s entryway from its original 1926 design. January 09, 2020 (Hollywood Theatre).

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