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State (Cinema 21) Theatre - 2/8 Wood
Portland, Oregon
616 NW 21st Avenue
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Cinema 21, c.1998
The State Theatre originally had a 2/8 William Wood theatre organ. The instrument was installed in two chambers and was the first in the state of Oregon to have the console mounted on a lift. The organ's current status is unknown.
** Editor's note: An article by Bill Peterson in Theatre Organ magazine (Winter 1963-64) attributes the name "Esquire" to the State (Cinema 21) Theatre. This reference was carried forward by David Junchen in the William Wood section of his Encyclopedia of American Theatre Organ, Volume 2. The Esquire reference is erroneous. According to the Oregon Historical Society, the Esquire was located at the corner of NW 23rd Avenue and Kearny Street. It originally opened as the Nob Hill Theatre in 1912.

From the Oregon Historical Society web site:
The 730-seat State Theatre was built in 1925 and originally featured silent films. The house was renamed Vista in 1941, 21st Avenue Theatre in 1942, and Cinema 21 in 1965. Before opening as Cinema 21, the theater was redecorated and its seating capacity reduced from 730 to 640 seats for greater audience comfort. In the 1970's Cinema 21 attracted audiences by featuring double bills and second-run movies. In the 1980's it specialized in foreign and art films. But audiences diminished as multiplexes spread in the metropolitan area and in 1987 the theater faced closing. But strong public interest and new owners kept the movie house alive. Today, an independent movie house presenting independent, foreign, and art films, Cinema 21 is again a thriving business.
Naming timeframes:
  • 1925 - State
  • 1941 - Vista
  • 1942 - 21st Avenue
  • 1965 - Cinema 21

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