HOLLYWOOD THEATRE Above: the old-school (and possibly new-school) marquee.
  • HOLLYWOOD THEATRE Above: the old-school (and possibly new-school) marquee.

If you couldn't tell by how we team up with them for certain Hecklevision events, and how we recommend their events on our My, What a Busy Week! page just about every week, we're fans of the Hollywood Theatre. It's one of Portland's landmarks—built in 1926, it's the reason the Hollywood District is, um, named the Hollywood District—and over the past few years, they've significantly raised the bar for fun, cool, and unique film-related events in Portland. They've also been making huge strides in improving the once-decrepit theater itself, new seats and speakers, a new paint job, and a new screen. None of this comes cheap, which is why the Hollywood's usually running some sort of fundraiser or another. Those fundraisers must be working, because they keep doing them, which I find heartening—at a time when most people couldn't care less about theaters, having enough people in town that love and support the Hollywood is a pretty rare thing.

So here's their latest, on Kickstarter: A drive to raise the remaining $55,000 that'll enable them to replace their marquee. (They've already got $50,000 in grants and donations, and holy shit, apparently marquees are super expensive.) The plan is for a "new neon, illuminated sign based on the design of the theater’s original marquee of 1926," and considering the housing complex that's currently going up about two feet away from the theater, I have to imagine a snazzy new marquee will help make the theater stand out even more.

A lot of film-related Kickstarters get sent my way, but I hardly ever post them—usually they're for crappy projects, or movies totally unrelated to Portland, or they simply don't seem worth the exposure that Blogtown would give them. This one is one of the rare exceptions. Also, while I know it will never happen, I kind of want their next move to be getting rid of those two theaters upstairs and remodeling them into the balcony they used to be—turning the Hollywood back into the big, single-screen theater it once was. Also putting Cinerama back in, just for kicks! And then showing whatever I feel like watching on any given day (today, for example, feels kind of like a Malick sort of day, in that it seems to be lasting forever). I'd totally cough up a few bucks for that, too.