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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Ride Report Eastside Theater History Bicycle Tour Wed 22 June 2005

While the weather wasn't perfect for this Urban Adventure League ride (there was the imminent threat of rain for most of the ride's duration, and it actually DID rain for a moment), it didn't deter seventeen people from showing up at the starting point of Ladd's Circle at 6:30pm for this unique tour. Introductions were given, the zine for the ride handed out, and the bicycle ride headed south-eastward on Ladd Av towards the first destination, theClinton Street Theater. I gave a brief history of the theater, and the crowd gawked at the new addition to the cinema--Portland's smallest brewpub (as of this week!)

We headed east on Clinton and then north on 35th Place for a brief "rendezvous" with the only "adult" theater on the tour, the Oregon (SE Division at 35th). How long will this cinema remain? Not a day longer, hopes the next door neighbor, who regaled us of her struggle.

Northbound to theBagdad Theater, where I used the megaphone to be heard over the din of Hawthorne Blvd traffic. Further north we head, a brief pause under trees to wait out the rain, a fly-by of the illustrious Avalon/Wunderland (SE Belmont at 34th), and then The Grand Dame of Deco, the Laurelhurst Theater. A kindly theater employee passed out free popcorn (yay!) providing nourishment for our continued push norhward.

Utilizing quiet Laurelhurst neighborhood streets, we crossed Sullivan's Gulch at the Hollywood MAX station overpass, and reach stop number six: the Hollywood Theatre. The riders gawked at the elaborate baroque spires presiding over the auditorium while learning essential trivia (the Hollywood Theatre was named first, the neighborhood second).

At the Hollywood, we lost more than half the group, as they headed for other destinations. Seven remained to traverse Rose City Park, scale the Alameda Ridge at Sacramento, cruise the aforementioned ridge for a scenic vista, and then end up at the Roseway Theatre, final stop of the tour. Of course, we consumed delicious fried confections from Annie's Donuts first! We took a quick peek in the Roseway (where they were showing the new Batman flick) and heard from the owner that it's been their best week in a LONG time.

The hardy cruised back down to the Hollywood, where we were treated to MORE free popcorn and took in the 9:10 showing of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Special bonus points go to Leaguers KenCrow, Kiran, and Robert for jumping the gun and catching the 8:15 showing of Batman Begins at the Roseway, thinking we'd be there. (Sorry, but sometimes democracy is ugly and the best laid plans of UAL ride leaders aren't met.)

Special thanks to Clarence Eckerson of BikeTV in New York City for filming this ride. 

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