Best/Worst Portland-Area Movie Theaters

Quickly, now, I am here to throw up a post I’ve been thinking about since going to the new Century Theater (at Cedar Hills) to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith (great flick, by the way) last Friday night. My apologies that it’s taken so long for this bit of a$$-grabbery to come to fruition.

Rules: Only discussing first-run, major theaters. Portland-area, including Beaverton, Gresham, and Vancouver (where, fortunately, none of my bests are).


Century Cedar Hills: I never thought anything would eject Century Eastport 16 from its place at the top of my pantheon. But the new one has everything I love about CE16, plus nice tables near the front to wait for friends in. A nice touch.

Century Eastport 16: Regals are nice and all, but the Century-s have THX. I don’t know why Regal gave THX up, because it, in my opinion, has better sound quality. I appreciate the touches in the snack bar area. And the close proximity to Albertson’s is great for those (like me) who are often looking to save some money by sneaking in outside treats.

Regal Division: I like this one because it’s close enough to get to, but far enough away that popular movies usually still have room. Stadium seating throughout, near a grocery store and a 7-Eleven, and good pressure in the water fountains.


Lloyd Cinemas: I’m lumping inside-and-outside together. The prime advantage is centralized location. But these theaters are run-down, relatively speaking. And the inside one, despite having my favorite movie theater water fountain, generally sucks.

Broadway Metroplex: Now, this is hard, because I love the availability of the Metroplex when you are getting off of work and want to go see a matinee. However, I liked KOIN Cinemas more for the same purpose, and also prefer the Pioneer Place Cinemas. Broadway’s got some funky floorplans (the theater with a constricted rear area and a wide-open front, effecting sound and viewing options) and no cell phone reception, so I don’t know when my wife is sending me a text message to bring her home some ice cream, which always gets me in trouble.

Tigard Cinemas: Once my favorite theater (as a child), this place is run-down and poorly located. Bad parking, hard to get to from anywhere but Tigard and all points along 99W, and just generally makes me sad.

Your opinions welcome. Next, I’ll be discussing best/worst McMenamin’s theaters.

4 Comments so far

  1. Rustifer (unregistered) on June 30th, 2005 @ 8:49 am

    I used to love the rundown hole from hell Broadway, way back in high school (mid-to-late 1980s). Primarily for the cheap entrance fee and the empty stadiums.

    I agree with you on the Lloyd center cinemas- it’s too bad it’s so central to all my friends. The Century Cedar Mills is awesome, and the vancouver downtown one is pretty nice too.

  2. Kai Jones (unregistered) on June 30th, 2005 @ 3:41 pm

    I’ve never yet been to a movie at the Broadway that didn’t end with them giving me a free ticket to come back and see the movie sometime when the sound worked, or the film didn’t break, or whatever.

    The Century 16 is it for me, partly because I don’t like driving further west than the West Hills.

  3. Banana Lee Fishbones (unregistered) on July 1st, 2005 @ 2:54 pm

    I would agree with Century Eastport, for a few reasons:

    * Eastport is one of THREE theaters in the area that is THX Certified. (Cedar Hills and the Cornelius 9 are the other two.)

    * Bulk Candy Bins. I like some gummy bears and some M&Ms and I can do that. If I just want a box of Junior Mints, I can do that too. I think the self serve bit goes faster. Plus their ‘other’ food is not bad.

    * NO COMMERCIALS!!!!! I don’t care about the trivia stuff and that sort of thing, or even the trailers, which are sort of ads. Last time I went to a Regal theater I saw a commercial before the film that I saw on TV AT HOME before I got to the theater. And at home I didn’t have to pay seven dollars for my seat.

    * Midnight shows!!! They get quite a few movies in on the midnight show, and treat the movie nerds pretty well. We were let in early to the Episode III theaters, they scheduled additional showings during the first few opening days so that everyone could get a decent seat and not wait in the crazy line, and in other midnight lines I’ve been in, they try to make sure you are at least inside the building while you wait.

    A note if you like your regular theater: TELL THEM! I always tell the manager at Eastport that I don’t mind paying a bit more for the good sound and no commercials. They always like to know that. :)

  4. Noir (unregistered) on July 7th, 2005 @ 5:06 pm

    Check out the Century City Center theater when in the Vancouver area. Stadium seating that’s clean and fairly new, just like our favorite Eastport theater. Parking in overhead parking structure across the street. And that little restaurant right next to the theater has the best desserts in a 10 mile radius.

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