Architect: John V. Bennes, Harry A. Herzog, 1925
This theater can be summed up best by the term
"rococo Art Deco faÃ§ade." The building is made of stuccoed concrete, and the multi-colored terra-cotta ornamentation on the pavilion is elaborate, colorful, and stunning. Details from that incredible tower include shells, theatrical masks, scrolls, fruits, lyre-playing angels, mermaids, bearded men, finials, and even a cleverly disguised kitchen sink. This theater must have been an incongruous and impressive sight at its 1925 unveiling, with produce stands around it and farms in plain sight.
* The architects of this theater also collaborated on Temple Beth Israel.
The Hollywood was originally built as one theater with fifteen hundred seats; the interior was partitioned into three venues in 1975. This did not prevent it from growing increasingly dilapidated until its purchase over twenty years later by a nonprofit group. Subsequent efforts to bring back the theater's former glory have included a 2006 makeover for its red "Hollywood" sign. It was taken down, given new neon letters and paint, and reinstalled, no small project given its size. Once inside the main theater, be sure to note where the red draperies are pulled back, revealing original hand-painted Art Deco designs and fake balconies.
* A Neighborhood of Firsts: The first Fred Meyer's store opened up across the street from the theater in 1931, and Portland's first "WALK" traffic signal was put in at Forty-first Avenue and Sandy in 1938. (Though this is exciting information, don't worry; your pulse rate should slow down soon.)
Though some find its design more "hospital" than "hospitable," the nearby Hollywood Library (2001, NE Tillamook Street, Thomas Hacker Architects/GBD Architects) provides a good example of "mixed-use." This five-story building contains a coffee shop and library with forty-seven housing units above.
* Catch the Fever: In 2006, this branch circulated 1,024,618 books and other materials, making it the busiest urban library of its size in the U.S.Less Text