Here's the latest on what's going on at the Clinton Street Theater. For more info, check out
September 25, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Pretty much as soon #45 took office, I began each morning "doom scrolling." Okay, what has he said now? What environmental regulations has he cancelled? How much longer can we depend on our government to care about the air its citizens breathe or the water we drink? Immigration? Do we continue to separate families and put children in cages? Ethics? How many more alligators in his "non-swampy" wet, sinking mess are gorging themselves on their proximity to power--the American people be damned?

When we closed in March, I added another "doom scroll," checking the number of cases and deaths reported each day. Have we flattened the curve? Oh no, please don't tell me that yesterday's number of new cases in Oregon returned to its mid-July peak! I read PDXEater online to check the latest restaurants that have closed permanently, and selfishly grieved for the loss of my favorite late-night Ramen noodles or Scotch egg breakfast. Sadly, in our own Division/Clinton business neighborhood, we've recently lost Ford Food & Drink, which was home to many of the artists, comedians, and musicians who performed in the Ford Building space.

After George Floyd's murder and the protests against America's systemic racism and police brutality began here in Portland and across the country, I had one more thing to check on each morning. This doom scroll felt more urgent and personal, especially since I know so many who are peacefully protesting night after night for what is right and good, and for their heroic efforts being tear gassed, shot at with "non lethal" weapons, or struck repeatedly by baton-wielding officers who have been sworn to protect the peace. 

Since 2020 wasn't finished with us yet, the wildfires were within 30 miles of our city, and the smoke settling in our valley caused the PM2.5 number to crest over an unthinkable hazardous 500. So, even though I  worried about flying and being in airports and in a red state where no one wears masks, I fled to Oklahoma to breathe somewhat cleaner air. My father died one year ago last Friday, so being with my sisters and my step-mother provided the community I needed to mourn his death and celebrate his life. 

Then, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death last Friday struck a terrible blow for so many. I am old enough to remember not being able to obtain birth control without my husband's permission. I am one of a vast number of women whose lives were enhanced through Justice Ginsberg's efforts in fighting gender discrimination. But, as Justice Ginsburg reminded us, “I don’t say women’s rights—I say the constitutional principle of the equal citizenship stature of men and women.” That's what we want everyone—equal citizenship, equal rights for everyone in America regardless of the color of our skin, how we came to these shores, who we love, or how much money we might have in our pockets.

We posted another one of Ginsburg's quotes on our marquee this week, "One lives not just for oneself but for one's community," and this seemed so apt for these times, especially in light of the amazing fundraising telethon that fans of the Clinton held last Saturday night. Other than provide a short thank you video at the end, I didn't need to lift a finger to make this happen. YOU and YOU and YOU, dear members of our community, YOU want to make sure we survive, and you gave generously. Since September 1st, the FaceBook fundraiser received more than $14,000 in donations and the CST donation page took in more than $8,000. After many months of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and vice versa, we finally can pay some back bills, and cover most of our immediate expenses.

What a long, strange trip we've taken in 2020. I fretted so many days that we wouldn't be able to hold on given that our closure at times seems never ending. Even though we are not out of the woods yet, and opening again still seems like a long ways off, I am increasingly confident that the Clinton Street Theater will once again be the home we need to create, resist, live and love. Our as Roger says, "the official Clubhouse of the Portland Anarchist Jurisdiction."


Elizabeth Alexander - 1962-

Now is the time of year when bees are wild 
and eccentric. They fly fast and in cramped 
loop-de-loops, dive-bomb clusters of conversants 
in the bright, late-September out-of-doors. 
I have found their dried husks in my clothes. 

They are dervishes because they are dying, 
one last sting, a warm place to squeeze 
a drop of venom or of honey. 
After the stroke we thought would be her last 
my grandmother came back, reared back and slapped 

a nurse across the face. Then she stood up, 
walked outside, and lay down in the snow. 
Two years later there is no other way 
to say, we are waiting. She is silent, light 
as an empty hive, and she is breathing.

Elizabeth Alexander was born in 1962 in Harlem, New York, and grew up in Washington, D.C. She currently serves as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.


The Faux Film Festival Pandemic Edition

Starts tomorrow, September 11 and runs until the end of the month
Pay what you can

The Faux Film Festival served up the biggest laughs this side of the Mississippi between 2005 and 2015, and for the last four years, we hosted the festival at the Clinton Street Theater. This year our friendly Jester and festival director, who prefers to remain nameless, has resurrected the Faux Film Fest as a fundraiser for us. He is donating all the submission fees, along with any donations made through their viewing. This "pandemic Faux Fest" is filled with foreign and domestic spoofs, satires, comedy, sci-fi, fantasy, mockumentaries, horror, parody, and faux commercials and trailers all connected in some way  to this time of quarantine and isolation. Something for everyone!!! You'll laugh harder than you would inside a barrel of monkeys!!


Schedule a Virtual Magic Visit with Dan Kamin

Any time
Any amount

We've know Dan Kamin of Mt. Lebanon, PA, since 2014, when he was a special guest as part of the Clinton's year-long 100th anniversary celebration. That year he shared the program Funny Bones, featuring the humor of Charlie Chaplin. It was a one-of-a-kind event that took our audience on a magical excursion into Chaplin's enchanted comic world through film clips, live performance, and the screening of a newly restored version of THE PAWNSHOP, Chaplin's short 1916 masterpiece. We also commissioned local composer Philip Van Scotter to create an original soundtrack for THE PAWNSHOP, which he played live during the screening. Dan came back in July, 2019, and shared more of Charlie Chaplin's humor and superstar career, and we screened Chaplin’s blockbuster war comedy SHOULDER ARMS, released while World War One was still raging. 

BUT Mr. Kamin is more than an acclaimed expert on all things Chaplin (he trained Robert Downey, Jr. for his Oscar-nominated performance in Chaplin and created Johnny Depp’s physical comedy routines in Benny and Joon). This multifaceted artist is also a magician extraordinaire, and if you would like to schedule a virtual magic visit, feel free to contact Dan by phone (412-563-6505) or email ( He will either virtually visit with you himself or set you up with his of my friends from the local branch of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. There is no charge during the pandemic, but he would appreciate you making a donation to the Clinton Street Theater, his home-away-from-home in Portland.


3D Printed Lithophane Nightlight and Popcorn Machine

Prices vary

Loren Thompson, 68th Term President of The Clinton Street Cabaret, is an artist using 3D printing and resin casting. They are making a 3D Printed Lithophane Nightlight of the Clinton Street Theater facade. It's a red plastic semi-transparent nightlight that casts a soft red light when the room is dark. They are also producing a tiny, toy version of our distinctive popcorn machine. 


POWFest 2020

Coming October 1st

This year POWFest is a virtual festival that will take place "live (on the internet)" on Thursday October 1st starting at 6pm. Two virtual screening events with filmmaker Q&A's after each block of programming. After the live event, they will host a recorded version on their Vimeo account behind a paywall for one week for those who couldn't attend on October 1st. And this year, POWFest has decided that all of their tickets sales for the virtual festival will be given to the Clinton Street Theater. Thank you, Tara and PowFest 2020!!!


Guignolfest 2020

Coming in late October

This exceedingly sinister Portland horror tradition is co-hosted and co-produced by GuignolFest founder Dylan Hillerman (director, "Bikini Creature Beach Feature", "Reservoir Dolls", “Headless Body In Topless Bar”, “Terror at Angel’s Horn") and co-produced by the hardest working doctor in showbiz, Julia Reodica! You might have already seen some of their content for the CoVideothon. For this year's festival, they are donating all of the participating fees to the Clinton. Already 19 teams have signed up.


We still have films available through our Virtual Cinema. We will be cutting back on the nationally-released films to focus on the CoVideothon, and highlighting our local filmmakers and performing artists. However, you can still check the Clinton Street Theater website for up-to-date links to film screenings that benefit us with a portion of the proceeds from your ticket. If you click on any one of the film titles or the film poster, you will go to a page with a more in-depth description of the film, a link to the trailer, and a link to buy your "ticket."


 You Never Had It - An Evening with Bukowski

Jazz on a Summer's Day


  • Shadowcast for Repo the Genetic Opera
  • Invincible Czars (band from Austin, TX)
  • Graphic artist and activist, Jen Davis
  • Stageworks Inc.
  • Jennifer Wright, piano
  • VHS Vengeance 
  • The Dark Backward Band
  • Pink Tornado Band 
  • Eva D'Luscious and Whole Lotta Love
  • lots more Guignolfest! 


Reminder--Portland's Black Owned Businesses Need Your Support. These businesses are part of what makes Portland great and your support is more important now than ever. 

Support Black Owned Businesses

My People's Market 6 

My People’s Market is a marketplace re-imagined as a gathering of Portland’s diverse and vibrant entrepreneurs, makers, artists, culinary wizards, and beverage crafters. 

This year they are focusing on the safety and health of our communities. In response to the pandemic, My People's Market has changed the format of the event. You can still connect with nearly 100 businesses but they are spreading the love over three days, each day featuring different vendors. Enjoy music from your favorite local DJs while you shop and make dinner (or lunch) easy with a grab-and-go lunch/dinner box.

A ticket is required for entry. IT'S FREE!!! Your ticket gives you a 30-minute window to be admitted. You can stay as long as you need to shop the market and make your purchases.

Our safety precautions:
  • Limited vendors each day
  • Ticketed entry to reduce crowds and lines
  • Mandatory face covering for entry
  • Free face coverings to anyone who doesn't have one
  • Sanitizer stations throughout the market
  • Limited pre-order and curbside pick options available

To limit crowding at the market we have also made the following changes to the event format:
  • Postponed live musical performances to 2021
  • Closed the beer garden
  • Grab and go lunch boxes available for purchase to take with you (no onsite dining)
  • Online order and pick up options
My People's Market is designed and presented by Travel Portland and Prosper Portland. Music and entertainment curated by YGB.


All Classical Portland presents a one-of-a-kind concert series, Fall into the Arts: A Radio Festival of Local Performances.

This nine-part concert broadcast series airs Thursdays at 7pm PT, September 24 through November 19, in Portland at 89.9FM and streaming worldwide at Each program will rebroadcast the following Sunday at 4pm PT. Fall into the Arts is generously sponsored by the Beaverton Arts Foundation and the new Patricia Reser Center for the Arts. Additional support provided by Olson & Jones Construction.

Fall into the Arts highlights over 30 regional ensembles and organizations from the Pacific Northwest, sharing special interviews alongside their most spectacular and memorable performances. With each episode curated and hosted by a different beloved All Classical Portland radio personality, the series brings the excitement of the fall arts season directly to you, safely, in our limitless concert hall on the radio.



Join community organizations, elected officials, and local leaders by pledging to vote YES to Preschool for All, the plan to make sure every child in Multnomah County has access to the preschool that is right for them.

We believe all children have a right to a tuition-free, high-quality preschool education. The Preschool for All plan was created with, as opposed to for, communities most impacted by the lack of high-quality and affordable preschool options, has an equitable approach to building a system that can serve everyone, and prioritizes early access for children with the least access today.

Together, we can make this vision a reality for children and families in Multnomah County, by voting YES to Preschool for All this November.

A pledge to vote YES is a pledge for a Preschool for All plan that is:
  • Accessible & Equitable
  • Supportive & Sustainable
  • Smart & Accountable

PIFF 2.0
October 1 – October 3, 2020

This year’s Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) was sadly cut short due to the pandemic in early March. PIFF 43 was a creative, multi-media feast that spotlighted artists both around the corner and across the globe—embracing the future of storytelling in all its forms. With PIFF 43, the Northwest Film Center created a bold, new artistic vision–Cinema Unbound–to reimagine what the Northwest Film Center can be. In the spirit of continuing to redefine the notion of cinema and visual storytelling for our community, we present PIFF 43 – 2.0 October 1-3. Check the website for the details and schedule.



One of the professional organizations I belong to represents the Independent Venues of America. NIVA has joined National Independent Talent Organization (NITO), (xPUA), Live Events Coalition (LEC), League of Historic American Theaters (LHAT), The Main Street Alliance, National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), International Health, and Racquet & Sportsclub Association to demand a comprehensive pandemic relief bill. Congress must acknowledge the vast financial impact on the American people! Learn more at Use your social media platforms to help us spread our message and be sure to tag @nivassoc and use hashtags #DoNotAbandonUS and #SaveOurStages. PLEASE!!!


Dissents speak to a future age. It's not simply to say, 'My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.' But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that's the dissenter's hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Don't be a stranger. Write until we can meet again.

Kind regards,

Lani Jo

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Clinton Street Theater · 2522 SE Clinton Street · Portland, OR 97202 · USA