Oregon Cartoon Institute@League of Historic American Theaters Fall Regional Conference, Sept. 12-13, 2018


Interior of Elsinore Theatre in Salem, Oregon. Built in 1926. Restored in 2004.

Thank you, Restore Oregon, for scholarships for Dennis Nyback and myself to attend the 2018 Fall Regional Conference of the League of Historic American Theaters. The conference theme, Making The Case For Historic Theatres, is a subject dear to Dennis Nyback’s heart.

Dennis Nyback operated five movie theaters of his own. Three in Seattle (The Rose Bud Movie Palace, 1979-1981; the Belltown Film Festival at the Jewel Box Theater, 1988-1992; Pike Street Cinema, 1992-1995), one in New York (Lighthouse Cinema, 1996), one in Portland (Clinton Street Theater, 1999-2002, with Elizabeth Rozier). To read more about his adventures as an exhibitor, see Jack Stevenson’s Land Of A Thousand Balconies.


Dennis at the Lighthouse Cinema, 116 Suffolk Street, NYC

In 1999, Dennis returned to Portland to save one of the oldest theaters in the city, the Clinton Street Theater, which had been serving audiences since 1915. The Clinton was about to go under when Dennis and Elizabeth Rozier stepped in to restore it. Today it does a healthy business. Current owners Roger and Lani Jo Leigh emphasize independent cinema and offer a full calendar of community based events.

In 2009, Dennis custom created his sixth micro-cinema, the James Ivory Theater at Marylhurst University, to serve the 35mm and 16mm projection needs of the ten day Oregon Sesquicentennial Film Festival. In 2010,  Dennis drew on his knowledge of Seattle’s downtown movie theaters to write the chapter “Art and Grind in Seattle” in Robert G. Weiner and John Cline’s  From the Arthouse to the Grindhouse: Highbrow and Lowbrow Transgression in Cinema’s First Century (Scarecrow Press, 2010).

Dennis’ interest in movie theater preservation plus my interest in Oregon film history led to our 2016 Oregon Heritage Conference talk + tour of Salem’s Elsinore Theatre titled Shakespeare Is Oregon Territory: Ellis Lawrence Designs the Elsinore Theatre.

The elegant Elsinore (1926) in Salem joins the miniature Elgin Opera House (1912) in Elgin, the well loved OK Theater (1918) in Enterprise, and the jaw dropping Egyptian Theatre (1925) in Coos Bay on Dennis’ list of favorite historic Oregon movie theaters. Earlier this year, he added the tiny, ancient Bungalow Theater (1911) in Woodburn, Oregon, to the list.

The 2018 Fall Regional Conference of the League of Historic American Theaters will take place on Sept. 12-13, 2018. In Portland, at Hotel Monaco.

Here’s more info: http://www.lhat.org/conferences/regional-conferences

Restore Oregon and the League of Historic American Theaters, with support from Travel Oregon and Oregon Cultural Trust, make the conference scholarship program possible. Thank you, Restore Oregon!


Founded in 2007 by Anne Richardson and Dennis Nyback, Oregon Cartoon Institute uses new media, archival film, research, networking, and cross disciplinary discussion to explore Oregon film, animation, and print cartooning history.  It has no brick and mortar presence, and always works in partnership with organizations which do.