Buried deep within the darkest recesses of Roku, among the thousands of networks trawling the public domain for lapsed copyrighted material, The Portland Feed contains views of a still-blossoming Rose City from angles few alive have ever seen.
Launched in 2018 by schlock horror editor J.T. Waldron, the channel’s mission statement promises “unique retro and contemporary programming that celebrates the city of Portland, Oregon, and the community feel” of television’s golden age. That includes a daft smattering of original content—conspiracy-laden news stories, in-depth looks at a coffee cart menu and mini-market inventory, an unedited 26-minute clip of ice falling from trees—but the impeccably curated treasure trove of motion pictures, TV episodes, campaign films, docs, ads, and batshit found footage compose a kaleidoscopic supercut plucked from when Old Portland was young.
Thrill as screen idols from Clark Gable to Marlene Dietrich to Sophia Loren drop by for brief location shoots around the state! Gape at the number of Oregonians cheaply killed for ’70s made-for-TV disaster flicks! Click from a Frank Zappa commercial for PGE to a 1925 claymation experiment, past exploding whale coverage through University of Oregon hypnosis trials on to a travelogue of the undammed Columbia River Basin!
Sampled en masse, the sheer array of singular perspectives negates any semblance of communal sensibilities or romanticized past civic glories. But click through the jumbled breadth of perspectives all the same for a rarefied glimpse of the infinite variations on our rain-swept, white-bread, sex-positive town—an endless multiverse of proofs of concept for all the proto-Portlandias that could have been.