July 30th, 2009 5:33 pm | by BEN WATERHOUSE News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

SUMMERGEDDON: Winners and Losers in Helter Swelter 2009

Photo by Flickr user classendesign

While we'd be hard pressed to argue the oppressive heat of the last three days has actually been good for anyone, some Portland businesses are doing better than others. Here are the winners and losers.

LOSERS: Concert-goers. The two Willamette Week employees who attended Tuesday night's Sonic Youth concert at the Roseland swear it was 110 degrees inside the (non air-conditioned) theater, moving many of the packed crowd to lose their shirts. "Coming out of the Roseland felt like walking into a fridge, even though it was still almost 90 degrees out," said Asst. Music Editor Michael Mannheimer.

WINNER: Movie theaters. Overheated Portlanders have flocked to air-conditioned cinemas in droves over the last two days. Last night's showing of Sunshine Cleaning at the Laurelhurst Theatre sold out over half an hour before showtime. 475 people showed up for the 1 pm matinee of Night at the Museum 2 at at the Bagdad Theater. Roseway Theater owner Greg Wood says attendance Monday and Tuesday was 60-70 percent higher than normal. "The most entertaining part is that people do not even care what we are showing," he says. "The last 2 days we've had people coming up saying 'I don't care what the movie is...just let me in for AC!'" On Cinema 21's website, the phrase "Our theater is air conditioned!" is several times larger than the name of the film being played.

LOSERS: Chocolatiers. Alma Chocolate has been closed since Sunday, for fear the heat would melt the shop's wares. They are open again for business today, but may close early if the temperature peaks again.

WINNERS: Ice cream salesmen. Sarah Holliday of Staccato Gelato says she's sold "a small mountain" of frozen goodness in the last three days, and estimates total sales of 200-250 gallons between Staccato's two locations. Staff at Cool Moon Ice Cream say the days have actually been slower, as parents choose to keep their kids indoors to beat the heat, but nights have been slammed.

LOSERS: Farmers. Both the East Bank and Ecotrust farmers markets are closed today.

WINNERS: The unemployed. Sure, the one in five of you who are unemployed or underemployed may have a hard time paying the rent, but at least it's easy to beat the heat. Every unemployed person we know has taken advantage of their free time to spend the days floating on the Sandy, seeing cheap matinees, sitting in Keller Fountain or just hanging out at the library. Now let's just hope we can all find work by November...
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