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Bringing back the Joy

New Joy Cinema brings beer, babes and bikers to Tigard.


by: JAIME VALDEZ - Jeff 'Punk Rock' Martin says the recently refurbished Joy Cinema on Pacific Highway offers something other movieplex's can't: Schlocky drive in movies. The theater opens tomorrow with a screening of 'Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!'When Jeff Martin was younger, he wanted to be a movie projectionist when he grew up.

Now, Martin is making his dreams come true.

Martin, known professionally in Portland as Jeff "Punk Rock" Martin, is a jack of all trades, with a career in advertising, bassist for the Portland group Surf Trio, and running a small record label, Blood Red Vinyl and Records.

Now Martin is the new owner of The Joy Cinema, taking over the one-screen movie theater on Pacific Highway that has been the town's only second-run movie theater for years, offering films that recently left the multiplexes.

Until recently, the theater showed Bollywood films from India. However, it struggled financially and has been shuttered for the last several months.

Martin said he saw an opportunity to bring the Joy back to people's attention.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," Martin said. "At some point you either do it or you don't."

The new cinema opens its doors Friday with $4 movie tickets ($1 movie tickets on Mondays) as well as beer and pizza at its later shows.

A showing of the Joss Whedon film "Cabin in the Woods" will kick off the theater's opening weekend, followed by Russ Meyer's 1965 cult classic "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!"

That mix of second-run and cult films is what drew Martin to open his own movie theater, he said.

He calls it "schlock and awe."

"I really want to sprinkle in the kind of cult films, classic films, psychtronics, biker films, monster films, whatever we can get our hands on," Martin said.

The theater's lobby is decorated with obscure and cult movie posters, like "The Boy Who Cried Werewolf" and "The Vampire Beast Craves Blood."

Martin is a lover of these older, often forgotten, films but said the majority of the theater's screenings will be more traditional second-run films.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Jeff 'Punk Rock Martin's Joy Cinema and Pub offers pizza, beer, and $4 movies. On Monday the theater will show movies for $1."There are a lot of theaters that open that think, ‘Wouldn't it be great to show only classics or art movies?' and they fail. You have to be realistic about who's going to come," he said. "There will be plenty of time to put in ‘The Man with Two Heads,' but you also have to have the bread and butter."

After Friday's opening night, the theater will screen "The Lorax" Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

In the future, Martin said he hopes to start upgrading the theater to show 3-D films.

A self-described "film geek," Martin said he wanted to work in a movie theater since he was a boy.

"The first job I ever wanted to have as a kid was to be a projectionist in a movie theater," Martin said. "I told my friends, why such a true and noble goal was put on the back burner is beyond me. Now I'm upping the ante by running a whole theater."

Martin said, there is something special about older theaters that has always fascinated him.

"To me a theater like the Joy has a personality and history that is interesting," Martin said. "I don't know what it is, but there is a romance about a theater like that, that you don't get with a multiplex."

With several multi-screen theaters sprinkled through town, Martin recognizes the Joy will have to compete for customers. He isn't worried about competing with theaters such as Cinetopia or Bridgeport Vaillage Stadium 18.

"There is room for everyone," Martin said. "What the other theaters do is great,w too, but we offer something those larger theaters can't. It's not a part of their business to book some old schlocky drive-in flick for their opening weekend. But we'll give people a show they can't get elsewhere."by: JAIME VALDEZ - The new Joy Cinema on Pacific Highway will show second run movies, as well as cult films.

Plus, Martin said, the Joy offers pizza and beer, too.

"Larger theater chains have their place, and I see movies in all types of theaters, but it's a different experience," he added. "With a theater like this, you can do something smaller and cooler (than larger theater chains) and make it something special and fun for the audience."

Once upon a time, Martin said, the Joy was the only theater in town. But with competition over the years, the theater is no longer on the forefront of people's minds.

Martin hopes to change that and has already started getting positive reaction from local residents, who he says have been dying to return to the theater.

A growing Facebook and Twitter following show how much people are looking forward to the theater's return, he said.

"I like it when communities support the theater, and there won't be any more one-screen theaters built," Martin said. "So if there is a way to get back into people's minds, that's what we need to do."

The Joy Cinema opens at 7 p.m. Friday night.

For more information about the theater visit its new website thejoycinema.com.