March 15th, 2010 5:33 pm | by AARON MESH Music | Posted In: Columns, News

Are You Sitting Down? Alberta Street Getting an Acoustic Theater

alameda theaterPortland's acoustic-music fans should get so excited that they clap politely and respectfully: A 300-chair sit-down venue is opening this summer on Alberta Street.

Joe Cawley will open the Alberta Rose Theatre in a historic movie-theater building at 3000 NE Alberta Street in early June. Cawley says the new venue will feature shows "more in the acoustic genres, from folk to classical to jazz."

The new owner hopes the Alberta Rose will "fill the niche for small-to-medium seated venues" in Portland, attracting acts not large enough to fill the Aladdin Theater. Most other clubs that size don't have extensive seating. "Me and all my old friends can't stand up for three hours," Cawley says.

Adam East, a musician with Celilo and Casey Neill and the Norway Rats [whoops! -Ed.], has been tapped as the Alberta Rose's booker, and the venue will supplement its programming with movies (on a new projection screen) and live theater.

The structure, which hasn't changed much in 80 years, housed the Alameda Theater from 1928 to 1978, but until last fall was the sanctuary for Victory Outreach Church.

"I've been wanting to do this for the past 10 years," Cawley says, noting that he had originally looked for a building on Hawthorne Avenue but was impressed by the enthusiasm of Northeast Portland for nightlife. "They want it," he says. "People are just coming out of the woodwork."

Image courtesy of Alameda Theater Memories.
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