People have been bitching about the price of movies since the days of penny matinees, but with multiplex prices hitting an all-time high—most major-chain matinees start at $8.50, and that's before 3-D and IMAX boosts—those miserly gripes are finally justified. Luckily, Portland's in the golden age of cheapskate moviegoing. And luckier still, the majority of theaters serve beer.

  1. Looking for a first-run blockbuster? Matinees at the underrated Cinemagic (2021 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 231-7919, thecinemagictheater.com) are only $5. If you’re looking for something more arthouse or grindhouse, the Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-4215, hollywoodtheatre.org) is also $5, the same price as artier films Monday and Tuesday at the posh Living Room Theaters (341 SW 10th Ave., 222-2010, pdx.livingroomtheaters.com).
  1. If you’re willing to wait for certain blockbusters, you can watch them on the region’s biggest screen at OMSI’s Empirical Theater (1945 SE Water Ave., 955-6674, omsi.edu) for $7—that’s $10 less than the inferior IMAX theaters, and with cheaper beer (yup, OMSI is a beer theater).
  1. And, of course, if first-run, high-quality stuff isn’t your bag, you’re in paradise. $4 gets you a wide variety of second-run and revival screenings, including 35 mm revivals at PSU’s student-run 5th Avenue Cinema (510 SW Hall St., 725-3551, 5thavecinema.com); Hollywood films at Kennedy School (5736 NE 33rd Ave., 248-3983, mcmenamins.com) and Mission Theater (1624 NW Glisan St., 223-4527, missiontheaterpdx.com); and a mix of revivals and not-yet-Netflix-available fare screened with pizza and cheap beer at Laurelhurst Theater (2735 E Burnside St., 232-5511, laurelhursttheater.com) and the Academy (7818 SE Stark St., 252-0500, academytheaterpdx.com).
  1. Still pinching your Goobers money? Kennedy School has a standing deal that gets you a pint, a ticket and a slice of pizza for $12. Mission Theater offers $2 tickets on Tuesday, and on the same day the Academy offers a 2-for-1 deal that amounts to $2 each.
  1. And if you’re feeling really cheap, the Joy Cinema (11959 SW Pacific Highway, Tigard, 971-245-6467, thejoycinema.com) offers a free Weird Wednesday series, where booze runs cheap and you get free admission to the bizarre revival screenings. They’re usually obscure horror flicks, though if you’re driving all the way out to Tigard just to save money on movies, you’ve already got a pretty good grasp on horror. 
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