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Movie Madness: For the love of movies

Photo essay: Portland's iconic video store and memorabilia museum has kept the film lights flickering through the pandemic.

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Story and Photos by K.B. DIXON


If you didn’t love movies before the pandemic, you likely love them now. A good movie, a good dog, and a good bottle of wine are all that have gotten some of us through these past two years. Movie Madness, the iconic video store and memorabilia museum that has been part of this city’s zeitgeist for more than 30 years, is an essential source of those good movies. A Portland institution, it is stuffed with movie magic. With more than 80,000 titles available, there is almost nothing the truffle-hunting cinephile cannot find here.

Founded in 1991 by Mike Clark, the store was purchased at his retirement in 2018 by the nonprofit Hollywood Theatre as part of its mission to preserve and promote the art of film. Clark retained ownership of the memorabilia, but he has left it on display at Movie Madness for the public to enjoy. The collection includes an amazing amount of material. There is, for instance, Faye Dunaway’s dress from Bonnie and Clyde, Anthony Perkins’ prop knife from Psycho, a bar of soap from Fight Club, and a prosthetic ear from Blue Velvet to which a wild sprig of dark hair from Director David Lynch’s very own head has been attached (“recycled after a haircut”).

For those who know nothing about the movies but would like to know something, and those that know a little but would like to know more, and those who know a lot but are afraid it might not be enough, there is the Movie Madness University that is run out of the store’s small but chic screening room. The University offers an array of film-appreciation programs from Hollywood Theatre and Movie Madness—everything from in-depth four-week seminars to casual discussions of curated film series.

The store is a movie-mad obsessive’s modest Mecca—a place of worship on Southeast Belmont Street. All photos below are from 2022.

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Movie Madness

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Line Forms Here

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Faye Dunaway’s Dress

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Fu Dog

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Hollywood

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Tribute to Margaret O’Brian

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Ann Miller’s Tap Shoes

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Diane Keaton’s Dress

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Sponsor
Portland Playhouse A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Portland Oregon

Independent Filmmakers

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Television New Arrival

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P.J. Soles Jacket & Pants

K.B. Dixon’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and journals. His most recent collection of stories, Artifacts: Irregular Stories (Small, Medium, and Large), was published in Summer 2022. The recipient of an OAC Individual Artist Fellowship Award, he is the winner of both the Next Generation Indie Book Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. He is the author of seven novels: The Sum of His SyndromesAndrew (A to Z)A Painter’s LifeThe Ingram InterviewThe Photo AlbumNovel Ideas, and Notes as well as the essay collection Too True, Essays on Photography, and the short story collection, My Desk and I. Examples of his photographic work may be found in private collections, juried exhibitions, online galleries, and at K.B. Dixon Images.

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