Portland isn't a city especially well-known for its cinematic culture, but we're getting there. In addition to the Regal Fox Tower downtown, which specializes in independent and foreign fare (making it all the more aggravating when a screen is given up to How to Train Your Dragon, fine film though it is), a handful of independent ventures keep us tuned in - The Hollywood Theatre, Living Room Theaters (a misnomer, as there's only one), the NW Film Center, and my favorite theater anywhere, Cinema 21. But film culture doesn't especially permeate Portland culture.
This only makes it all the greater that the Movie Marvel Museum recently opened.
Yes, many of the electronics are interactive! Julie, my girlfriend, and I played back sound through a sound editing machine from, I believe, the 1960s, flipped through the the pictures in the Mutoscope (three rotations per second, kids), viewed some film through the Moviola, and had lunch with the Invisible Man.
If you ever find yourself in Portland, I cannot recommend enough that you check this place out. The pictures included here are the smallest sampling of what they have on display. It's not going to eat up an entire afternoon, much less a whole day (we spent a solid hour in there), but it's an intimate, personal, enthusiastic look at film history, and by extension pop culture history. So much of their collection encompasses a time when film defined pop culture, rather than simply emulating it.
The Movie Marvel Museum is located at 2728 NE Alberta in Portland. Admission is a mere $2.50 ($1.50 for kids!), and popcorn comes with admission (c'mon, how many other museums actively encourage you to eat in there). More information at http://moviemarvelmuseum.com/