St. Johns Twin Cinema

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St. Johns Twin Cinema
Multnomah Theatre
Northgate Theater
St. Johns Theater
St. Johns Cinema.jpg
Address 8704 N Lombard St
Portland, Oregon
United States
Coordinates 45°35′26″N 122°45′20″W / 45.59056°N 122.75556°W / 45.59056; -122.75556Coordinates: 45°35′26″N 122°45′20″W / 45.59056°N 122.75556°W / 45.59056; -122.75556
Opened 1911
Rebuilt 1983, 2004

The St. Johns Twin Cinema, formerly known as the Multnomah Theatre, Northgate Theater and the St. Johns Theater, is a movie theater located in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, United States. It was constructed by the Bickner Brothers contracting firm and opened in 1911 by the People's Amusement Company.


Plans to build a "modern" theater in what was then the city of St. Johns were announced in 1911 by C. A. Metzger of the People's Amusement Company. The blueprints called for a concrete two-and-a-half story, 50 by 100 ft. building that was estimated to cost US$30,000 (US$759,321 adjusted for inflation).[1][2] It was constructed by the Bickner Brothers and featured a 650-seat auditorium and a roller rink. It later added a bowling alley.[3]

In 1915, the St. Johns City Council voted in favor of an ordinance that would censor a film entitled The House of Bondage[4] and put in place a board of censorship to weed out "lewd" films, spearheaded by socialist mayor A. W. Vincent. Managers of the theatre were supportive of the censorship board and refused to show the film a year before the ordinance was enacted.[5][6] The theater hosted a town hall event in 1928 about the proposition of a new bridge over the Willamette River in St. Johns. The St. Johns Bridge was completed in 1931.[7]

In 1983, the theater was fully renovated by David A. Jones and David H. Evans, who were renovating several theaters around Portland. The main floor auditorium featured 350 seats and the upstairs featured 225 seats.[8] On July 7, 1986 there was a fire in an apartment above the theater after a firecracker was thrown through the window and into a waste basket.[9] In 2004, the theater was purchased by young local artist for US$980,000 (US$1,223,619 adjusted for inflation). He planned to renovate the theater and bring it back to its original shape.[3]


  1. ^ "St. Johns to get theater". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). February 9, 1913. p. 11. 
  2. ^ "St. Johns accepts films". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). June 18, 1914. p. 5. 
  3. ^ a b Fitzgibbon, Joe (May 5, 2004). "Trio transform historic theater in St. Johns". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). p. D02. 
  4. ^ The House of Bondage
  5. ^ "Censorship is opposed". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). January 19, 1915. p. 11. 
  6. ^ "St. Johns to see film". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). June 17, 1914. p. 20. 
  7. ^ Koffman, Rebecca (January 14, 2012). "Stepping into the past in historic St. Johns". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). 
  8. ^ Goetze, Janet (January 31, 2012). "Friends restore St. Johns Theater". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). p. 44. 
  9. ^ Falk, Susan (July 18, 1986). "Show goes on at St. Johns Theater". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). p. 58. 

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