Symphony fete at Academy Theater evokes historic Hollywood glamour

The beautifully-restored Montavilla movie palace was the perfect place for a “Fabulous ’40s” party supporting the Oregon Symphony. Take a look! We have a backstage pass‚

Beau escorts Rosalie Williams, Chair of the event, as they welcome guests to Oregon Symphony benefit party at the Academy Theater.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When the Mt. Tabor chapter of the Friends of Oregon Symphony wanted to throw a 1940s-themed “Night at the Academy” party, they knew right where to go‚ the Academy Theater, in Montavilla.

“Can you think of a better place for our event than this beautifully-restored theater?” asks event chair Rosalie Williams when we meet her.

Sivia Kaye and Marcella Nandor toast the glamorous atmosphere.

“We’re volunteers who support the Symphony in every way we can‚ from ushering at youth concerts, to putting on benefits like this,” explains Williams. “It is important to have music and arts in our city. Fine music brings culture to our city, and adds to the livability.”

1940 newsreels are running in one of the theater spaces; “On the Town” with Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Ann Miller play in another; and the “Two Sisters Trio” entertain in the third auditorium.

Meanwhile, guests nosh on appetizers supplied by Yahala Restaurant, another Montavilla business, as well as by Flying Pie Pizzeria.

The main course‚ chicken strips, steak and mushrooms, prawns, salads, and fruit‚ is catered by Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen.

The Academy Theater’s host, Ty Dupuis, shows off one of his delicious pizza pies.

Ty Dupuis, part-owner of Flying Pie Pizzeria and the Academy Theater, is on hand to greet‚ and feed‚ the multitude of well-dressed guests who mingle throughout the building.

“This is a spectacular event,” confides Dupuis. “It brings the community together in a way you don’t see any more. I’m glad we could host this party.”

Even the event photographer, Rachael Kubik is fashionably dressed in vintage style.

About the theater, Dupuis comments, “We’ve built a place where friends and family can get together and have a good evening. It is wonderful to see how Montavilla is making real comeback. Now there are many reasons to come and visit our district ‚Äì Montavilla and South Tabor.”

Judging by the merry countenances of the nattily-attired guests, the Academy Theater may become the setting of more vintage-themed festivities in the future.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service.

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