Here's the latest on what's going on at the Clinton Street Theater. For more info, check out
March 11, 2021

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It's been ages since I've corresponded with you, my dear community. Parts of the last few months have been dark nights of the soul; some have been unadulterated joy. I have found my voice once again and returned to creative writing. I've also been spending more time with my great-grandchildren, and, truly, nothing beats that.

Creator: Joel Carranza | Credit: Joel Carranza

A lot of the time, however, I just simply felt like I had hit a wall. 

Seventeen years ago, I trained to walk the Portland Marathon, and in our first 20-miler, I learned what that truly meant.  (Yes--unbelievable as it may seem--once upon a time before the Clinton, I was an endurance walker.)

We started our walk from Creston Park at 44th and Powell. We headed down towards the water, and ambled in Ladd's Addition. We walked along both sides of the Willamette, crossing the Hawthorne west and Burnside east. Then we came back up Belmont, in and out of the Sunnyside neighborhood, and all the way to the top of Mount Tabor. Thank goodness we had a tiny break  with snacks, and then we wound our way down the south side of the mountain and back to Creston Park. 

At some point in the climb up Belmont (it's a steady rise of about 500 feet), I hit that damn wall. I truly believed that I couldn't take one more step. I didn't understand what I was doing. It seemed ridiculous, unnecessary, and I wanted nothing more than to stop and sit and wallow in the pain from my muscle aches, wheezy chest, and blisters. A cacophony of voices sang in my head, "you weren't cut out for this," "what are you trying to prove?", and "who do you think you are--you middle-aged couch potato?"

I had to fight those negative thoughts tooth and nail. I kept telling myself, "just put one foot in front of the other," and with the support and encouragement of my walking group, whose members all assured me that they had been there, too; I kept going. And although it took over eight hours for me to finish those 20 miles, I made it; and in less than eight weeks later, I walked 26.2 miles in a shorter amount of time. (If you want to see the documentary that Roger and I made about this experience, WALK TO ME is available on our CoVideothon Vimeo page.)

I had hoped that when the New Year came, and our new president was inaugurated, I would feel a lightness, a relief, a sense of hopefulness. But those feelings have been hard to come by. The grant that Venue Operators were promised from the "Save Our Stages" portion of the December Covid relief fund has yet to materialize. When it does open for application (now it looks like that will be April), the list of required documentation is as long as my arm. I need to supply a floor plan. Proof of purchase for just about everything. Event name, ticket price, and number of tickets sold for every show in February 2020. Blah, blah, blah-de-dah.

Scrambling to raise money has been the least fun part of my job since I became owner almost nine years ago, and that's all I am able to do now. So, I think in mid-January through February and into March, I hit that wall and shut myself down. I've been giving myself a pep talk, trying to move beyond this paralyzed feeling, but it's so easy to keep hearing those voices, "you aren't cut out for this," "what are you trying to prove?", and "who do you think you are--you old, insignificant woman?"

Lorianne DiSabato: Who do you think you are?

This coming weekend marks one full year of our closure. To still remain operational is a testament to how much the Clinton is revered in our community, how much the theater adds to the fabric of life in SE Portland, and how much you love us and want us to stick around. I have been truly humbled by your generosity. Every time I had bills and thought I would need to dip into my savings, you came through. It really was a thing of magic!

This week's big shout out of thanks:

Greater Portland NOW (National Organization of Women) sent us more than $500 in thanks for the work we've done over the years on feminist programming;


A lovely couple who has spent every anniversary with a date at the Clinton, fundraised on our behalf with friends and family, and sent us a check for more than $1400.

Now, for the first time in nearly a year, I am feeling excited about the future. I am getting my first vaccine this week. Hurray!!! AND, we are going to be opening up little by little over the coming weeks and months. IF WE ALL DO OUR PART (wear a mask and socially distance when in public and GET YOUR VACCINE as soon as you become eligible), we hope to be running at full capacity by June 2021. I'm already starting to book movies and events, and we'll have a fun summer, indeed!


ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW will start BIY SHOWS beginning the first weekend of April for a maximum of 50 PEOPLE. Emcee Nathan will be your host. You will need to purchase your ticket in advance (link coming soon!!!), and, unfortunately, with bars and restaurants being required to shut down at 11pm, we will not be able to serve concessions, including beer/wine/hard cider. However, you are welcome to bring in your own snacks. 


Beginning April 1st, we are officially opening the Historic Clinton Street Theater for private rentals of up to 12 people. That means you and eleven of your very bestest bubble-bubbly friends can enjoy a flick on the big screen and hang out. How cool is that???!!!! Again, we are not setup to offer concessions, but you are welcome to bring your own snacks. Depending on the time of the rental, we might be able to sell beer/wine/hard cider. If you are interested in booking and have more questions, please contact us:


Water Women

-- Alla Renée Bozarth

Creative Commons License--Snappy Goat

We do not want
to rock the boat,
you say, mistaking
our new poise
for something else.

We smile secretly
at each other,
sharing the reality
that for some time
we have not been 
in the boat.

We jumped
or were pushed
or fell
and some leaped

Our bodies form
a freedom fleet,
our dolphin grace
is power.

We learn and teach 
and as we go
each woman sings;
each woman’s hands 
are water wings.

Some of us have become
mermaids or Amazon whales
and are swimming for our lives.

Some of us do not know how to swim.
We walk on water.



Virtual Cinema



From the team that brought you the a-meow-zing Quarantine Cat Film Festival comes...SWEDED FILM FESTIVAL FOR CREATIVE RE-CREATIONS. They're zero-budget, amateur, homemade, zany, creative, weird and often downright hilarious: a dozen "Sweded" versions of your favorite films. This festival showcases the passion, humor, creativity and incredible ingenuity of film fans nationwide who won’t be deterred by a pandemic … and can't stop loving the movies.


After nearly a decade exploring different facets of the African diaspora — and his own place within it — Ephraim Asili makes his feature-length debut with The Inheritance, an astonishing ensemble work set almost entirely within a West Philadelphia house where a community of young, Black artists and activists form a collective. A scripted drama of characters attempting to work towards political consensus — based partly on Asili’s own experiences in a Black liberationist group — weaves with a documentary recollection of the Philadelphia liberation group MOVE, the victim of a notorious police bombing in 1985. Ceaselessly finding commonalties between politics, humor, and philosophy, with Black authors and radicals at its edges, The Inheritance is a remarkable film about the world as we know it.


Love indie filmmaking? Love horror movies? Love sci-fi??? This one is for YOU!!! Anne Hutchinson's troubled relationship with her missing sister is under alien tribunal. Meanwhile, her new roommate's mysterious illness causes her to go on a cannibalistic killing spree.


The Agent Orange catastrophe did not end with the Vietnam War.  Today, the world over, a primary chemical of the toxic defoliant controls weeds in farming, forestry, parks, playgrounds… It wreaks havoc on the human genome, causing deformed births and deadly cancers.  

After decades of struggle and tragic personal losses, two heroic women are leading a worldwide movement to end the plague and hold the manufacturers accountable. In France, Tran To Nga is suing the American chemical industry for poisoning her in Vietnam. In America, Carol Van Strum exposes the continuing use of toxic herbicides. Incriminating documents disappear.  Activists are threatened.  A helicopter technician secretly films the contamination of reservoirs, while a massive industrial cover-up goes on.




Pink Tornado 2020

Pink Tornado is a rock trio from Portland, Oregon dedicated to putting a smile on your face and some shake in your ass. Not even COVID can keep these kids from hitting the stage! This performance was recorded live at the Clinton Street Theater in August of 2020 to an audience of three masked and socially distanced crew members. For more Pink Tornado check them out on Bandcamp and give ‘em a like on Facebook.




Many Portland restaurants and bars are gone. But right now, three home-grown, diverse ones have gutted it out  and are still standing! They are JaCiva’s Bakery, Palio Espresso House & Aprisa Mexican Cuisine - woman, queer and Latinx owned businesses!

Businesses like these are what keeps Portland so weird & wonderful. They are one of a kind, small and independent. They enrich the fabric of our City and they need your help now. Contribute to their GoFundMe account.

Independent filmmakers need your help with post production costs. Support MISLEAD, a short film about aging and facing the haunting consequences of choices made in the past.

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

Grow Your World

Seven Black filmmakers capture perspectives from behind the counters of their favorite neighborhood spots. In the shadow of a global pandemic, economic collapse, and ongoing racial injustice, 
these films show the spectrum of experiences among Black small-business owners and their communities. Watch on Vimeo now for free!!!

Portland International Film Festival is in full swing. This year's PIFF offers new ways of seeing through virtual, drive-in, and special program experiences. Purchase tickets and passes now.

Indie Film Series: Women's Voices—spotlight on indie women filmmakers in honor of Women's History Month. Support Independent Voices. March 18-21 
Reserve your virtual tickets!

A Year Of Loss- Taking Time To Grieve and Heal
Special Event With Betsy Rose and Friends

A special evening of song, spoken word and spiritual teachings in support of all who have experienced loss and grief this year--or in any year. 


With Special Guests Evelie Posch, Lisa Cohen, Gary Lapow & Ahbi Vernon, Edie Hartshorne & Molly Scott
Not feeling quite right? Here's what been helping me. Working Class Acupuncture (WCA) provides low-cost acupuncture to the community through a cooperative, grassroots, financially self-sustaining model. Its goal is to offer people as much acupuncture as they want, in support of whatever goals they have, so that they can use it in whatever way works best for them. WCA has provided relief from chronic pain, anxiety, and lots of other stuff too-TMI to mention. Sliding scale $20-40. 

Did you know that Portland Parks and Recreation has loads of videos for you and your family? How about some soccer practice for your littles one? Or maybe you prefer to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (it's by Mozart, in case you hadn't heard)? They've even got Dance Fitness routines for 4 minutes or 30. Check it out!


Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. 


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