I engage in that most classic of recreational duos, Dinner & a Movie, all the time—if you count watching Love Actually on my MacBook while eating leftover lo mein out of the carton as “Dinner & a Movie.” For those seeking a more atmospheric D&M experience, here’s a guide to Portland’s best food + flick friendly movie houses. (Note to V-Day strategizers on a shoestring—nothing says “I love you but I accidentally blew my holiday budget filling the bathtub with conversation hearts—ALL FOR YOU” like a heap of McMenamin’s nachos and a $3 second-run Pixar movie. XO!)
This dinner & a movie excursion requires the longest drive from Portland proper, into the wilds of Troutdale, but the neat 74-acre former poor farm is worth the trek. Stroll the gardens, play nine holes, get pruney in the soaking tub, or order a brown rice bowl or the Alehouse fish and chips, (depending on what kind of shape your heart’s in) and take in a cheap movie at the Power Station Theater.
If you have an extra $12, and it’s Wednesday, and you are craving a big burger and a beer, then consider your life complete, even if you don’t yet have your dream job, a functional relationship, and/or a proper sofa, because this gorgeous historic NW Portland theater is going to take your mind off your worries for a while, and for a scant $3 per movie.
This historic property is no ordinary institution of learning—the former classrooms have comfy queen beds and private bathrooms as well as chalkboards, the auditorium is a second run movie theater, and the detention room is strictly for drinking beer and smoking cigars.
This art house theater screens movies that will make you feel smarter, cultured, and generally more superior than the average human being after viewing them. And to combat NW’s awful parking plight, they arranged for moviegoers to use the Legacy Good Samaritan lot at NW 22nd & Kearney (after 6pm weekdays and on weekends). (Note: It’s really just snacks & beer & wine here, but you are steps away from loads of restaurants…so I’m making an exception.)
After a $3 second run flick at the beautiful Bagdad Theater, why not stop into the adjoining pub for a pint or two, an order of Cajun Tots, and perhaps a game of pool? I would.
They already had me at $4 general admission and $3 matinees, but then I saw the menu at this popular Burnside “theater and pub.” Fresh pizza, salads and wraps by their NE Portland sister restaurant, pitchers of beer, $6 pint ‘n popcorn special…yes, please!
Regardless of how highfalutin’ your dining tastes run, there is something so deeply satisfying about McMenamins’ TNT Basket (chicken tenders ‘n tots with peppercorn ranch) and a $3 movie at this cool old dome-ceilinged St. Johns theater.
You could make a meal out of the many fine snacks and alcoholic beverages served at this beautiful old theater in the middle of the Hollywood district hubbub. Plus they have Salt & Straw ice cream, so perhaps consider this a Dessert & a Movie destination.
Occupying one of Portland’s most family-friendly little hoods, this Montavilla movie house knows its audience—for the price of a Dixie cup of popcorn at a traditional movie theater, you can buy babysitting services (only for the length of your movie, sorry) most days of the week, just call in advance. And where else can you get pizza, hot dogs, Miyamoto sushi and 10 microbrews PLUS kombucha on tap in one place?? Mark your calendars for Double Feature Mondays (two movies for $6) and Two For One Tuesdays.
Easily sweeping the Sophisticated Movie Munchies category, this elegant downtown theater-with-adjoining-cocktail-lounge serves you deviled eggs, chicken prosciutto skewers, Cobb salad, Croque Monsieurs, champagne on ice and truffles while you recline in your massive stadium seat. Movies are only $5 on Mondays & Tuesdays, which means more moolah for chocolate mousse tarts!