Drew Prell has some major changes in store for the Lake Twin Cinema
by: MARTIN FORBES Changes are in the works for the Lake Twin Cinema in downtown Lake Oswego and developer Drew Prell is the person pushing through the new plans.

Drew Prell sounds like a real showman when he talks about his plans for the Lake Twin Cinema in downtown Lake Oswego.

'It's going to be great!' Prell said. 'It will be better than just movies.'

The longtime Lake Oswego developer is not exaggerating, either. In fact, he is promising really big renovations that will include a café with a restaurant, kitchen and full-service bar. Plus, Prell plans to renovate the two movie auditoriums and add state-of-the-art projection equipment.

While the first auditorium will remain a traditional film venue, the second auditorium will offer a format rarely seen before in Lake Oswego. It will have the flexibility to host parties, stand-up comedy events and concerts.

To make this happen, the second floor of the theater will be leveled and face out toward the lake. It will feature a large, covered outdoor deck.

Good times will roll. Oswegans will be able to laugh, eat, listen to live music, and, of course, watch the finest and most recent films, just as they have been doing since 1951.

This will be the second time that the venerable theater will get a major makeover from Prell.

'I bought the theater in 1996, right after the flood,' he said. 'It was a mess. I had a lot of work to do. Now I'm doing more work.'

The project is expected to take place from late spring to early summer this year, with a cost estimated to be between $250,000 to $500,000. Prell is positive his venture will be a success.

'There are already five or six theaters like this in Portland that include restaurant service,' he said. 'But I don't think any of them offer live music or comedy. This is going to be a big feather in Lake Oswego's cap.'

While all of these innovations will please many, patrons can still enjoy movies in a traditional setting; only it will be much better.

Prell said, 'Our new digital equipment will be able to download opera and show live sporting events. We'll be able to show classic films with Blue Ray technology.'

If movie lovers have visions of 'Casablanca' or 'Gone With The Wind,' they're right. The updated theater also has the potential to turn Lake Oswego into a site for film festivals. Prell is helping people get used to that idea by helping host the Northwest Film Festival starting Feb. 10.

'The film festival is very exciting for Lake Oswego,' Prell said. 'This is the first time the Northwest Film Festival has stepped out of the boundaries of Portland.

'The more success we have the first time, the better it will be for next year. The festival could expand here for two or three weeks.'

It will truly be showtime in Lake Oswego, which is ironic considering what Prell planned when he first bought the theater.

'I'm a developer,' he said. 'At first I was going to level the theater and turn it into office buildings.'

With a laugh he added, 'I don't think that would have made me very popular.'

Thankfully, his thinking changed.

'A movie theater is a big benefit to a downtown area,' Prell said.

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