Here's the latest on what's going on at the Clinton Street Theater. For more info, check out
December 17, 2021

Hello dear friends and neighbors,

Dear friends and neighbors,

THE BIG LEBOWSKI began its 11-day run last night, so, even though I've had trouble keeping track of the days of the week, I know we're finally at years-end. Although 2021 began with much optimism and hope for a return to normalcy, I'm afraid our new "normal" is that life will never be "normal" again. As I write this, news reports warn of the Omicron variant creating a viral "blizzard" that will sweep across the United States infecting millions in as little as a few weeks. 

So, I want to address a CST policy decision that some of you find troubling. I am fully vaccinated, including a booster, and my staff is fully vaccinated. I hope and trust that everyone of you takes advantage of the free vaccinations that are now available at almost every pharmacy and multiple other locations across the state. I believe vaccines are our best protection against severe illness. However, I am not asking to see vaccination cards or negative tests when you come to the theater. (Organizations renting the theater for screenings may have a different policy.)

I understand that it might make some of you more comfortable about sipping a Rice Russian while watching the Dude and Walter battle the nihilists. I understand that more of you might bring your children or grandchildren to giggle, "ooh," and "aahh" at the antics of the Amazing Bubble Man. However, I only know too well that vaccinations do not fully protect us. In November a fully vaccinated family member died from COVID after a 10-day hospitalization. Not only do I grieve the loss of this wonderful man, but I feel like my world turned upside down. I had fooled myself into believing that somehow, unlike millions of other families in our country and around the world, somehow my family had gotten lucky--after almost two years into this pandemic, we were unscathed. 

But as we know, life and luck can turn on a dime.

I have several reasons for not checking vaccination status, but, primarily, it is a false assurance of safety that I cannot provide. As adults, we understand that everything we do in life carries some level of risk. Climbing a ladder, boarding a plane, eating raw fish--it's all risky. Being out and about during a pandemic is risky. That means that each of us must come to terms with what level of risk we are willing to accept--whether we are on line at the grocery store, eating in a restaurant, or, yes, even watching a movie or a live show at the Clinton Street Theater fully masked and socially distanced.

In my mind, checking vaccination cards simply becomes performative. Something to do that truly serves no purpose other than making you feel more at ease. And, of course, I want you to be relaxed at the Clinton, but I can't provide a false sense of comfort. You might think, "oh, I'm safe now; everyone here is vaccinated," but that isn't true. I cannot make the world safe for you. I can't even make the world safe for those I love the most.

When Roger and I purchased the theater almost ten years ago, I envisioned a place where film & music lovers, activists, nerds, weirdos, and folks who care about doing good in the world could come together to build and sustain a sense of community while having a good time (or as the Rocky Horror emcee puts it, "a real f*ckin' good time!"). Last night at THE BIG LEBOWSKI, I saw that vision as reality.

We had a blast! Folks dressed up in Pendleton sweaters, cowboy hats and bathrobes. We savored Rice Russians. One group of friends celebrated the fact that they had been gathering at the Clinton for our Holiday Lebowski for FIFTEEN years!! Cultivating friendships, putting in the time necessary to build solid relationships--if anything gets us through Omicron or whatever comes next, I believe it's going to be our families of choice and not circumstance.

When I introduce the Lebowski each evening, I joke about being a "bah, humbug" holiday person. I don't celebrate a Christian Christmas, and I hope we don't relegate generosity, hospitality, and kindness to once a year. But it's wonderful to feel like this is a time when we can unabashedly express warm affection for each other. Come visit this week and be bathed in good cheer.

And, remember always, the Dude abides.

One Today

Richard Blanco - 1968-

January 21, 2013
A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration
One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper—
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives—
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.

One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.

The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind—our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.

Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across café tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello / shalom,
buon giorno / howdy / namaste / or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me—in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.

One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together



Coming This Week and next.......

Friday, Dec 17 through Sun, Dec 26 @ 7:30pm


Tickets $10 in advance; $12 at the door.

When "The Dude" Lebowski is mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, two thugs urinate on his rug to coerce him into paying a debt he knows nothing about. While attempting to gain recompense for the ruined rug from his wealthy counterpart, he accepts a one-time job with high pay-off. He enlists the help of his bowling buddy, Walter, a gun-toting Jewish-convert with anger issues. Deception leads to more trouble, and it soon seems that everyone from porn empire tycoons to nihilists want something from The Dude.

"The Big Lebowski is a mess. But what a glorious, wonderfully-entertaining mess it is."
--James Berardinelli

Dress up or down, and try our Rice Russian!

Friday, Dec 17 @ 10pm

Clinton Cult Classics presents THE LOVELESS
Tickets $6; Available in Advance

"Bigelow's first feature, co-written and co-directed with Monty Montgomery, is a nihilistic meditation on 1950s biker flicks, featuring Willem Dafoe in his first screen role."

Trouble ensues.

In the 1950s, a rich Southerner in a small town falls in love with a biker who's on his way to the Daytona racetracks.
Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com

"Intelligent, provocative, camp, indulgent, erotic, occasionally frustrating, and often brilliant."
Film4 Staff, Film4

"A strange, but compelling amalgam of art film and homage to the American International Pictures biker flicks of the 1960s."
Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

Saturday, Dec 18 @ 2pm
Sunday, Dec 19 @ 11am
Monday, Dec 20 @ 11am
Tuesday, Dec 21 @ 11am
Wednesday, Dec 22 @ 2pm
Thursday, Dec 23 @ 2pm
Friday, Dec 24 @ 11am


Tickets $17 General Admission; $10 Children 12 and Under; Babes in Arms Free
Available in Advance

Louis Pearl has been thrilling audiences around the world for nearly 30 years with the art, magic, science and fun of bubbles. He is a favorite at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he has enjoyed eleven years of sell-out success.

Louis explores the breath-taking dynamics of bubbles, combining comedy and artistry with audience participation and enough spellbinding bubble tricks to keep everyone mesmerized. From square bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, giant bubbles, bubble volcanoes, tornados and trampolines to people inside bubbles, the Amazing Bubble Man conjures shrieks of laughter and gasps of amazement from all ages. 

"Greatest bubble show on Earth." -

“This show will rearrange your molecular structure” (SE Examiner, Portland OR)

“The range and beauty of the effects really has to be seen to be believed and anyone who doubts that bubbles can fill an hour of stage time will be very pleasantly surprised.”  (Fest Magazine, Edinburgh)

“The thought….that I almost stayed home tonight instead of coming here….is dreadful”  (Audience Member, Portland OR)


Sunday, Dec 19 @ 2:30pm

Portland Dance Festival presents The Secret Theater


In a deserted city, a young boy stumbles into a theatre. He wanders through the auditorium, where rows of velvet chairs, draping curtains and chandeliers seem to lie in lonely wait for audiences to return. The theatre may be empty, but the show will go on... 

Starring characters from our most popular festive ballets, the worlds of the Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy collide when the theatre bursts into life. In this spectacular, feature-length film, you’ll be treated to an extraordinary show filled with acrobats, snowflakes, clowns, princes and – of course – beautiful ballerinas.  

The Secret Theatre features the choreography of Scottish Ballet founder Peter Darrell and CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, co-directed for the screen by Jess & Morgs. With set and costumes designed by Lez Brotherston; music by Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky recorded live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra; new additional composition by Frank Moon; and performances from the full Scottish Ballet Company; this Christmas special will be an unforgettable adventure for all the family.


Friday, Dec 24 @ 10pm

Clinton Cult Classics presents BLACK CHRISTMAS


Some folks go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Other folks come to the Clinton Cult Classics screening of BLACK CHRISTMAS.

Also known as STRANGER IN THE HOUSE, this film is the rare slasher with enough intelligence to wind up the tension between bloody outbursts. It's a fiendishly enjoyable holiday viewing for genre fans.

As winter break begins, a group of sorority sisters, including Jess (Olivia Hussey) and the often inebriated Barb (Margot Kidder), begin to receive anonymous, lascivious phone calls. Initially, Barb eggs the caller on, but stops when he responds threateningly. Soon, Barb's friend Claire (Lynne Griffin) goes missing from the sorority house, and a local adolescent girl is murdered, leading the girls to suspect a serial killer is on the loose. But no one realizes just how near the culprit is.

Made at a time when there were as yet no fixed rules for the slasher subgenre, here anything goes, and the survival of neither virgin nor even final girl comes guaranteed.
Anton Bitel, Little White Lies

There's no doubting that Black Christmas had all the advantages of being first of its kind. The film stands as the mother of the modern slasher. It was able to make its own rules, and subsequently created a template for the films that came after.
Jourdain Searles, Thrillist

Black Christmas is a pioneering genre film. If you've seen a slasher film, almost any slasher film, you've likely seen the tropes that Black Christmas created.
Jason Concepcion, The Ringer

Sunday, Dec 26 @ 4:00pm

9th Annual Screening: Dakota 38

Free Admission.

Donations will be accepted to support the work of Native American Youth and Family Center. 100% of every dollar donated will go to this organization, so please give generously.

In the spring of 2005, Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, found himself in a dream riding on horseback across the great plains of South Dakota. Just before he awoke, he arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors hanged. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in United States history, ordered by Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862. "When you have dreams, you know when they come from the creator... As any recovered alcoholic, I made believe that I didn't get it. I tried to put it out of my mind, yet it's one of those dreams that bothers you night and day."

Now, four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retrace the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution. "We can't blame the wasichus anymore. We're doing it to ourselves. We're selling drugs. We're killing our own people. That's what this ride is about, is healing." This is the story of their journey- the blizzards they endure, the Native and Non-Native communities that house and feed them along the way, and the dark history they are beginning to wipe away.

This film was created in line with Native healing practices. In honoring this ceremony, we are screening and distributing "Dakota 38" as a gift rather than for sale. This film was inspired by one individual's dream and is not promoting any organization or affiliated with any political or religious groups. It was simply created to encourage healing and reconciliation.

Coming Soon.......

I'm not exactly sure what it's going to look like, but in addition to our annual Roe v Wade Day commemoration, January is going to be filled with lots of my favorite films on the weekends. If I can book it, I'll share the first movie I remember seeing, as well as some of the films that got me hooked on the going to the movies. Be forewarned, some of them are long!



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

"Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness."

Don't be a stranger. Hope to see you soon.

Kind regards,

Lani Jo
Copyright © 2021 Clinton Street Theater, All rights reserved.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Clinton Street Theater · 2522 SE Clinton Street · Portland, OR 97202 · USA