5th Avenue Cinema
The 5th Avenue Cinema in 2014
|Address||510 SW Hall Street
|Owner||Portland State University|
|Operator||PSU Film Committee|
|Opened||1970, Moyer Theaters|
|Reopened||1989, Portland State University|
The 5th Avenue Cinema is a two-screen, 35-millimeter projection theater at 510 Southwest Hall Street in Portland, Oregon, in the United States, owned by Portland State University (PSU) and operated by the student-managed PSU Film Committee. Each term the committee selects a variety of films, often world cinema or art films, and screening is free to PSU students. The cinema is open to the public for a nominal fee.
The cinema opened in October, 1970, under the name Cine-Mini Theater in rented space formerly used by the Portland State University Bookstore. Larry Moyer, owner of Moyer Theaters and rival brother of Tom Moyer, believed that Portland was ready for an intimate, fully automated niche market movie house where the projector, house music, curtains, and house lights were automatically controlled.
The small theater was not a profitable first-run venue, however, and soon it began showing old movies and midnight horror films. The name was changed to 5th Avenue Cinema in 1973, although the entrance remained on Southwest Hall Street.
Almost from the beginning, the cinema worked with the PSU Film Committee to select programming that would appeal to students. An alliance with the Northwest Film Study Center followed, and the cinema even screened films during the annual Portland International Film Festival.
When Act III Cinemas purchased Moyer Theaters in the late 1980s, Portland State University accepted ownership of the 5th Avenue Cinema as a non-profit organization. The cinema is one of the few student operated theaters in the United States.
- "Fully Automated Twin Theater Plan Completed For Opening In October". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon: Advance Publications. June 19, 1970. p. 30.
- Mahar, Ted (January 8, 1971). "Cine-Mini running classics from 30s & 40s". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon: Advance Publications. p. 33.
- Mahar, Ted (June 17, 1973). "Fifth Avenue theater attracting more adult audience, but needs youth to survive". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon: Advance Publications. p. 20.
- Mahar, Ted (May 17, 1980). "Film Festival offers whole world of viewing". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon: Advance Publications. p. 29.
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