“Seth Sonstein and Nicola Spechko, owners of Southeast Portland’s irascible and essential Clinton Street Theater, have done something the likes of which I’ve never remotely heard of,” reports Oregonian critic Shawn Levy. “They’ve bought a drive-in movie theater in Oceanside, California, and they’re moving all of the hardware — lock, stock, barrel, snack bar, screens, little speakers on poles, and so forth — up here to Oregon.
“They plan to use one of the four projectors they’ve acquired to replace the aged gear in their theater. But they’re also hoping they can get a chunk of land somewhere nearby to use the rest of the equipment to open a new drive-in of their own — one, presumably, which will show the Clinton Street’s patented blend of grindhouse, experimental, cult, and shoestring-independent fare.
“Right now, according to this definitive seeming site, Oregon has only four functioning drive-ins: the nearest to Portland is the 99W in Newberg, along with open-top theaters in La Grande, Milton-Freewater and Dallas. So it’s not like the market is flooded, exactly. And Bruce Lee, anime and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” under the stars of a Willamette Valley summer night? Oh, I can dig it; can’t you?”