Kennedy School

For those unfamiliar with Portland, we love our movies. More specifically, we love our movie theaters. And to go further, we love our funky, second-run and independent film playing theaters. The McMenmin brothers capitalized off of this when they combined their success in the brewpub industry with that of local love for cinema. In addition to their numerous pubs, they started opening movie houses by the dozens (maybe not that quickly, but they probably outnumber Starbucks...although that's not hard to do in Portland). These pub/theaters show independent and second-run movies at a much discounted price: $3.00. What's more, they serve up locally crafted beers to be sipped (or chugged) while sitting in front of the big screen.

One of the more popular brewpub/movie houses is the Kennedy School. Originally an elementary school, dating back to its opening in 1915, the building at 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave closed in the 1970s due to declining enrollment. In the late 90's, the McMenamin brothers snatched up the property and decided to sell beer and movie tickets at the location. What a novel idea. During the renovation of the property, they added space for a couple bars (one is in the old detention hall), a restaurant, an area for private parties, a dozen hotel rooms, a soaking pool, and a movie theater (in the old cafeteria).

A few weeks ago, Syd and I went to see a movie there. While walking around, giving ourselves a tour, we stumbled across one of the employees who was just finishing the cleanup of an empty room. As he walked out of the room, we tried to get a peek inside. He noticed our interest and let us in, while also informing us that they had one room left for the night (hint hint). Syd and I, in the interest of spontaneity, decided to snatch it up and stay the night. Who cares that we didn't have our toothbrushes or a change of clothes?

The rooms look like old classrooms, with chalkboards and all (you can imagine some of the naughty things we wrote with the provided chalk...think immature hangman). The hallways resemble how they would have 50 years ago, giving it an eerie feel of little school kid ghosts running up and down the corridor. The restaurant and bars have a lot of character, too. We ate in the restaurant before seeing a movie (which we enjoyed with a pitcher of beer), and afterwards took shots in the bar. While stumbling back to our room, we managed to grope the statues in the hallway, climb the fire steps leading to the roof, and convince an employee (who took our picture) that we've been pen pals for five years and just met for the first time that night. It wasn't long before we crashed and had to vacate the room the next morning. Although the hangover wasn't pleasant, the stay was well worth the money.


Max said...

Man, you guys have such a fun existence. Sounds cool.

gilly said...

dude its been 20+ years since you and i started terrorizing a school together and youre going to tell me that as soon as you get back into a school environment you still cant behave?? for that i say bravo to you sir bravo to you. awesome pics and as always i dug the story.


Pork said...

you must be grown up and/or you have smartened up because I didn't get any calls from the principal...now go to Edgefield McMenamins and play nice with the ghosts.

gilly said...

pork i couldnt agree more....jeff you should fire off that pic of you and the statue to sister pauline for good measure!


Pork said...

Gib, do you think Sister Pauline would get it?????? And she would never think of her Jeff that way. It is so nice seeing you on here Gibby.Nice way to keep in each other's lives.