The Clinton Street Theater is a theater located in southeast Portland, Oregon, believed to be one of the oldest continually operating cinemas in the United States. The theater was built in 1914 and opened as The Clinton in 1915. The venue became known as the 26th Avenue Theatre in 1945 and the Encore in 1969, before reverting to a resemblance of its original name in 1976. The Clinton often screens grindhouse, cult and experimental films, and has become known for hosting regular screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (since 1978, marking one of the film's longest-running showings) and Repo! The Genetic Opera.
The venue also hosts the annual Filmed by Bike festival, the Faux Film Festival and the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival. A photograph of the building that was to house the theater appeared in The Morning Oregonian newspaper in 1913. Known as the Kleist Building after its owner, Edward Kleist, it had a pressed brick front and walls with hollow tiles. The second floor was intended for residential rooms and apartments, and the ground floor was designed for business storerooms and a movie theater. According to a February 1915 advertisement in the newspaper, The Exploits of Elaine, the first in a continuing series of Craig Kennedy detective stories, was to show at The Clinton on March 1.
According to its official website, the theater opened in 1915 as The Clinton. The venue became known as the 26th Avenue Theatre in 1945 and the Encore in 1969, before reverting to a resemblance of its original name in 1976. At that time, a five-person collective bought the theater. The movie house had been showing X-rated films, which the collective replaced with a wide variety of movies including foreign films, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and older films like The African Queen.