The Hollywood Theatre Will Turn the Expo Center Into a Drive-In, at Least for the Summer

Don’t worry: “Kindergarten Cop” is not in the lineup.

The Portland Expo Center was hosting moviegoers parked in cars long before the drive-in became cool again. Now that program is getting a boost thanks to a partnership with the Hollywood Theatre.

Starting Thursday, Aug. 13, audiences can watch a lineup of films chosen by the historic venue's film buffs. Inspiration for the selections came from the Hollywood's signature series, like the Portland Black Film Festival, Queer Horror and OregonMade.

The series will include blockbusters like Jurassic Park and Mad Max: Fury Road, iconic horror films like The Thing, Alien and Get Out, and at least one Oregon-shot classic, 1986's Stand by Me. (Don't worry: Kindergarten Cop is not in the lineup.)

While the movie palace remains closed for traditional screenings, organizers say the drive-in alternative is a way to stay connected with supporters this summer.

"Our partnership with the Expo Center allows our team to continue to offer cinema to the community which is not possible within our venue at this time," Hollywood's executive director, Doug Whyte, said in a press release. "We're hoping the 60-foot screen and professional sound will give them an excellent movie experience while staying safe and protecting others."

New safety precautions are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. For instance, the number of cars will be capped at 120 to allow more space between vehicles. Individuals can sit outside their cars but must wear a mask while doing so. And everyone will be required to stay at least 6 feet away from others while buying concessions or using the restroom.

Entry is $35 per vehicle, with a limit of five passengers per vehicle. The gates open at 6:30 pm Thursday through Saturday, and close at 8:15 pm. The movies start rolling at dusk. The series runs through Saturday, Sept. 5.

If you're looking for additional opportunities to take in a movie from the comfort of your car, the Oregon Short Film Festival is going to screen 170 indie flicks at the Sunshine Mill Winery in The Dalles. Just a few short weeks into the pandemic, the winery converted its parking lot into a drive-in theater while selling food and beverages to attendees.

The festival takes place Aug. 16-19. Tickets are $30 and sales are capped at 40 moviegoers per night.

Related: As One of the Only Safe Ways for the Public to Gather, Newberg's 99W Drive-In Is the Hottest Nightspot in Town.