FACT, JUST IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING! The Roseway Theater (7229 NE Sandy) is, hands down, my favorite movie theater in Portland. I'm gonna go out on a limb, too, and say that I'm pretty goddamn sure it's the best spot to see movies anywhere in the city.
If you haven't made it out to the Roseway yet, hit the jump to find out why you should.
I know, I know, my realization about the Roseway's awesomeness is unforgivably tardy—the theater was renovated way back last summer. So why'd it take me so long to make it out there?
This might sound weird coming from the Mercury's film editor, but I don't actually make it out to the movies all that often. I go to a lot of advance screenings, and I watch a lot of DVD screeners, but when it comes to just going to movies on weekends for fun or whatever, I don't do it all that often. There's a number of reasons for this, the biggest one being that I've usually already seen the movies I'm most interested in. But I'd be lying if I said that other factors didn't include (A) not wanting to put up with jackasses in the audience text-messaging throughout any film at any Regal Cinemas theater, and (B) the fact that that my grumpy ass is rarely in the mood to put up with either the effed-up film prints or the rambling drunks at Portland's theater pubs.
Back to the issue at hand, though: After hearing from several film-loving acquaintances that the renovated Roseway was the best theater in town, I finally headed out there this weekend, where I discovered that these acquaintances were totally right.
Once you're past the theater's unassuming facade on NE Sandy, you enter an understated but classy lobby, which leads to a gorgeous theater full of comfy chairs and plenty of legroom. Once the picture kicks in, it gets even better: The Roseway's digital projection is so steady, sharp, vibrant, and crystal-clear that... well, it's just kinda jaw-dropping, honestly. The sound is great too, but it's the picture that really sells the joint. (I'll put it this way: The next time I have to debate digital projection with an old-school cinephile who still insistently clings to the nostalgic appeal of celluloid, I'm going to hit them over the head with a baseball bat, cram them in my trunk, drive them to the Roseway, and strap them into one of those aforementioned comfy chairs, Clockwork Orange-style. That'll be the last I'll have to hear from them about the supposed inferiority of digital projection, and only partially be because their jaws will be wired shut to treat the massive head trauma purportedly caused by some sort of baseball bat.)
What's more, the Roseway shows first-run movies, yet only charges $6 a ticket, day or night. The concessions stand is similarly reasonable in price, and the friendly employees—thank christ—aren't forced to ask every customer 18 different questions about whether they'd like to pay a quarter more for the eight-liter bottled water instead, or if they have a Regal card, or if they'd like a combo today, or if they'd like a Kit-Kat or some Peanut M&Ms with that. Plus: No ads or infomercials before the feature presentation, just previews—and those, too, in kickass digital.
AND ALSO! There are some really pretty stained glass depictions of classic movie studio logos in the lobby! I want one of those in my house.
Anyway, my point is that I suck for not making it out to the Roseway until now, and if you haven't headed out there yet either, I can't recommend it highly enough. Try to keep it somewhat on the DL, though—in part because of its location but mostly, I suspect, because word hasn't really gotten out yet, the theater was pleasantly low-key for the matinee I attended on Saturday, which was really nice. Shit, I almost didn't even tell you guys about it, because I wanted to keep it, selfishly, all for myself.
But I did, 'cause that's the kind of guy I am. You're welcome.