We asked Head Programmer Dan Halsted to weigh in on his top ten events and programming milestones of the decade. Here’s to another decade of movie excellence at the Hollywood Theatre!
10. (TIE) SCANNERS with MICHAEL IRONSIDE and THE BURBS with JOE DANTE
A tie between these two events. For SCANNERS (August 2016), the gruff character actor Michael Ironside wandered the stage for an hour with a microphone, telling stories about his film career, former drug use, and his belief in ESP and the supernatural. For THE BURBS (April 2017), there was a great Q&A with director Joe Dante about his work with Roger Corman, and his love of genre cinema.
9. FULL METAL JACKET with LEON VITALI
In June 2018, Stanley Kubrick's longtime assistant and right-hand man Leon Vitali visited the Hollywood and shared stories of his two decades of working with the iconic director, and their unique symbiotic relationship.
8. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON with RICK BAKER
Special effects legend (and winner of 7 Academy Awards) Rick Baker gave a 90 minute, fascinating talk about his entire career, as part of the MASTERS OF PRACTICAL EFFECTS WEEKEND (November 2018).
7. The Annual ALL NIGHT HORROR MARATHON
Every year, we screen four 35mm horror films back to back. Always extremely popular (and so exhausting). At the first one in 2011, I ended the event by giving away a chainsaw at 6:00 am.
6. RZA: LIVE FROM THE 36TH CHAMBER
The leader of the Wu-Tang Clan came to perform a live score to this Shaw Brothers masterpiece for three sold out shows in April 2019. For the Q&A’s, we chatted about obscure old school kung fu movies. I haven't met anyone with a deeper well of knowledge when it comes to kung fu movies.
5. COFFY with PAM GRIER
One of the nicest and most gracious people I’ve ever met, screen legend Pam Grier talked about her incredible life, following the sold out screenings of COFFY in February 2017.
4. KUNG FU THEATER
In 2009, I unearthed and saved a massive collection (8,000 lbs.) of extremely rare 35mm kung fu prints from an abandoned Chinese Theater in Vancouver, B.C. In 2011, I kicked off the monthly Kung Fu Theater series on the second Tuesday of every month, which regularly sells out. Saving and showing the only known 35mm prints of MYSTERY OF CHESS BOXING, FIVE ELEMENT NINJAS, SEVEN GRANDMASTERS and so many more, to large energetic audiences were all incredible experiences.
3. Buying a 70mm print of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
When Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece originally opened in 1968, it played exclusively in Portland at the Hollywood and had an epic run, playing for 42 straight weeks. In 2018, I worked a deal with Warner Bros, and thanks to a successful fundraiser, our community helped us purchase our own brand new 70mm print of the film. Now we can play 2001 in 70mm whenever we want, on the Hollywood's 50 foot screen - one of the most incredible cinematic experiences possible.
2. Bringing QUENTIN TARANTINO to Town
In December 2015, while screening the 70mm roadshow version of THE HATEFUL EIGHT (which sold out 60 shows), Quentin Tarantino came to town (I had to keep it a secret that he was coming). He watched the movie with the crowd, did a great Q&A, took in a tour of our film archive, and stayed to introduce the late show.
1. Bringing 70mm Back to Portland
With our technician Joel Miller of NW Projection as my ally, we tracked down all the 70mm parts for the projectors piece by piece from film collectors and technicians across the country. The theater launched a fundraiser in the Spring of 2015, and the community donated $15,000 to pay for the project, making the Hollywood the only 70mm capable theater in Portland!