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Mini movie theater coming to PDX

PORTLAND — A movie theater is expected to open at Portland International Airport by late spring.

Hollywood Theatre in northeast Portland plans to open an annex at PDX that can seat 18 people, with standing room for another 10 to 20, reported The Oregonian. It will screen short films of one to five minutes, according to executive director Doug Whyte, focusing on Portland artists and films about the city and the state of Oregon. There will also be a space for live performances.

"Our concept in there is making a really comfortable environment that is acoustically separate from the airport," explained project architect Rick Potestio. "We really want you to feel like you're in a theater space, but not miss your flight or trip over luggage."

All shows will be free to travelers.

Port of Portland, which runs the airport, donated a 650-square-foot space near Gate C5 that was used as a business center. The theater's design is still in development, but Potestio said it will likely include a marquee and vertical blade sign on the exterior.

"It's a really prominent location," Whyte said. "Anybody going down the C Concourse won't be able to miss the marquee."

Potestio is still thinking about how to let travelers know that the theater isn't owned by a California company but a local one.

"We don't want people to see this and think that Portland has sold the space out to some L.A. producers or something," he said. "This isn't some Hollywood implant."

Whyte has been planning the annex since seeing a newspaper article about a theater in a Tokyo airport two years ago.

Major airports in Asia have added movie theaters, but it's still uncommon in American airports. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, however, put in a screening room last year.