Brews, Bites, Music, Stories at The Fremont
PORTLAND, OR ‒ September 15, 2016 ‒ You know that beautiful new brick building on the corner of NE 24th and Fremont? Across the street from Lucca’s and Garden Fever? Hang onto your hats, because a fabulous new performance venue called The Fremont Theater is going to open up there this month, and it’s going to be the new home of Portland Story Theater. Located at 2393 NE Fremont, right next to Mars Wine Bar and Kitchen, which has been open in the space since June, The Fremont is primarily a music venue, but on the first Friday of every month (and a few other dates throughout the year), The Fremont will host Portland Story Theater’s unique brand of true, personal narrative.
October 7th is the season opener for Portland Story Theater and the first event to be held in The Fremont, with doors and music starting at 7 pm and stories at 8 pm.
As their 12th season approaches, Portland Story Theater is excited to be moving all their Portland shows to The Fremont. “For the last two seasons, we have been over at a cavernous theater, so we are really stoked to be moving back to a smaller, more intimate space,” says Portland Story Theater founder and artistic director, Lynne Duddy.
Located at the corner of NE 24th and Fremont, just nine blocks from Portland Story Theater’s home studio and office, The Fremont will seat 120, and is the perfect size for the type of storytelling Portland Story Theater does: eye to eye, face to face, and heart to heart. “Performing at The Fremont will be a return to that wonderful sense of intimacy we used to have at Hipbone Studio, where it was kind of like a big living room and the teller was never more than twenty feet away from the farthest listener in the back row,” said co-founder Lawrence Howard. “The Fremont will feature a state-of-the-art sound system, comfortable seating, a full bar, a small but tasty menu, great acoustics and the perfect ambiance for our real, true stories.”
“It was really sort of miraculous how it all came about,” says Duddy. The exterior of the handsome brick building on Fremont – known as Lyon’s Court – was completed about a year ago, but then sat unoccupied for quite a while. “Lawrence and I used to drive past it all the time and wonder about what was going to move in there. Often we would joke, ‘the future home of Portland Story Theater!’ “
But it really was just a joke until the day they got a phone call from their dear friend and Portland Story Theater collaborator and board member, Penny Walter, the famous puppeteer. Penny told them that her old friend Johnny Keener was going to open up a music venue in that space! “We met Johnny, and then we met his partner, David Shur. Turns out that David went to college with our son, Scott, and played music with him in a now-legendary twelve-piece band called DoDecca. What are the chances?”
Howard continues, “We liked both Johnny and David immediately, and they seemed really eager to have their new venue be the home of Portland Story Theater, for the sense of community that it would bring to the neighborhood and the venture. A deal was struck, and, voila! Here we are. We could not be more delighted about moving to this beautiful and intimate space.”
The Fremont is primarily going to be a music venue, so keep an eye out for some wonderful musical happenings there. Oh, and a word to the wise: with its smaller capacity, Portland Story Theater’s shows at The Fremont are certain to sell out, so be sure to buy your tickets in advance!
Portland Story Theater is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which strives to make the narrative arts an integral part of Portland’s rich cultural identity. Founded in 2004, the organization is committed to bringing an authentic story and theater experience to enrich, inspire, challenge and expand Portland’s urban environment through the narrative arts. For more information, browse pdxstorytheater.org, email us , or call us at 503-284-2226.