By Midge Pierce
One of the joys of Portland living is being able to spend hours immersed in film and film paraphernalia at Movie Madness, 4320 SE Belmont St. It’s been a Portland institution since 1991 with its neon-lit marquee, collection of 90,000 or so titles, costumes and props like Fu Dog from Citizen Kane, Ingrid Bergman’s chair from Casablanca, and the knife from Psycho.
Now, as owner Mike Clark retires, a kickstarter campaign has all but ensured that the institution’s classic, cult and out-of-print films will be available to another generation as the business transitions to new ownership under the local Hollywood Theatre. In its first week, the campaign netted nearly $225K toward the $250K that Clark and Hollywood Theatre owner Dan Halsted negotiated for the transfer.
Calling the response overwhelming, Halsted says the campaign will remain open for a stretch goal of another $100K needed for sound proofing, and seats and projection for a planned on-site screening room.
He seeks to transform Movie Madness into a community-focused, member-supported non-profit. Memberships would include crossover discounts and perks between the theater and the movie archives as well as special screenings and access to refurbished DVDs for viewing.
The history of Movie Madness is as colorful as its founder. Clark, a former Hollywood post production coordinator, says his position gave him unique access to films at Hollywood auctions.
The first costume he purchased was a Diane Keaton dress from Godfather II, a best picture winner in 1975. “I just love Diane Keaton,” he said, along with Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Andrews, Faye Dunaway, Drew Barrymore and a host of other stars whose attire adorns the Movie Madness displays.
Clark will continue to own the building and stay involved with the customer base he loves.”I plan to offer tours of the collections,” he promises. “It warms my heart that so many have stepped up to support the shop. Portland is the right place to have this exhibit.”
The fundraising campaign runs through November 10. Find out how to participate at hollywoodtheatre.org/moviemadness.