It's one of the country's oldest continually operating movie theaters, and a historic landmark. But the reason the Clinton Street Theater is truly beloved is for its unwavering commitment to bringing quirky, hard-to-find films to Portland. And starting in November, this long-time institution will have new drivers behind the wheel.

According to current operator Elizabeth Rozier, the Clinton Street Theater has been sold to two new owners: Nicola Spechko and Seth Sonstein, the coordinators of San Francisco's Sick Puppy short film festival. "When in Portland last July to promote the Sick Puppy showings at the Clinton," Rozier said via e-mail, "[Sonstein] fell in love with both the city and the theater, and the rest, as they say, is history."

It remains to be seen how the theater's lineups will change under the new regime, though Rozier goes on to say that "Nicola and Seth plan on continuing the current Clinton array of eclectic, independent fare." Never known to pander to the queasy, the Clinton has, over the years, shown a wide array of both live-action and animated splatter-fests, a popular weekly Saturday night screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and more traditional art-house material. Sonstein and Co. should fit right in, as the Sick Puppy Fest is notorious for its unabashed love of everything crass and lewd. Sonstein is also involved with the film company, Rubber Gash Productions, whose website offers film categories such as "Disturbing/Violent," "Nudity and Sex," and "Shit and Puke."

Only time will tell if the raunch-obsessed new owners will maintain Clinton's much-respected balance of crass and culture, but so far, it seems likely. Their first official booking will be a tenth-anniversary revival of the Tarantino-written True Romance, beginning November 7. JUSTIN SANDERS