Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Mar 24-26, 2023

Tamales Festival, Movie Madness Miniplex Sale, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
March 24, 2023
Grab some goodies for your garden at the Side Yard Farm's Spring Plant Sale & Mimosas event. (The Side Yard Farm via Facebook)
The weekend may have spring showers in store, but there is also a deluge of fun and fairly cheap events on the horizon, from Movie Madness Miniplex Sale to Spring Plant Sale & Mimosas and from Portland Mercado's Tamales Festival to Algiers.

Venues may have health guidelines in place—we advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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Enter the Dragon in 35mm
Past Event List Robert Clouse's '73 hit features Bruce Lee, an island fortress, a drug trafficking ring, and a martial arts tournament. Need we say more? This screening of a 35mm uncut print will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the kung fu classic, which was deemed a "savagely murderous and numbing hand-hacker" (the New York Times) and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2004.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)

Wendy and Lucy
Past Event List Kelly Reichardt, deft creator of Oregon misfit characters and "master of the non-event," made magic with Wendy and Lucy, which follows an impoverished drifter and her dog companion as they attempt to travel to Alaska in search of work. Reichardt's newest flick, Showing Up, which was shot in Portland, finally heads to theaters next month; this screening of Wendy and Lucy will remind you why you love her thoughtful style and emphasis on the ordinary.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $8)


Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs with Glacial Fall
Past Event List British stoner metal troupe Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (or Pigs x7) will play tracks from their new album Land of Sleeper, which Pitchfork described as "balancing the riffs with sharp songwriting and a touch of camp." Local post-metal rockers Glacial Fall will open.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)



That's What She Said: Spring Beaver!
Past Event List Queer feminist comedy collective That's What She Said will return to sprout some springtime wisecracks and usher in the new season with much-needed laughs. Expect to hear from local faves Berlyn Lee, Jenna Brittan, Moss Bell, Samhita Reddy, and others; all proceeds from the event will be donated to a to-be-announced nonprofit.
(Siren Theater, Boise, $12)


Buster Keaton Silent Film Double Feature with Live Organ Accompaniment
Past Event List Dean Lemire will perform original scores on the Hollywood's Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ for this Buster Keaton double feature, which includes cult favorite silent comedies featuring The Great Stone Face: One Week, a slapstick newlywed story, and Sherlock Jr., an amateur detective tale. 
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10-$12)

Pigeon Milk Presents: Godzilla Past Event List
Touted as "Portland's only live film score band," psychedelic synth trio Pigeon Milk will perform their out-of-this-world musical interpretation of the 1954 classic film Godzilla while it plays behind them on a large projector.
(The 4th Wall PDX, Buckman, $5)


Free Coffee Cuppings! Past Event List
If you're looking to expand your java knowledge, look no further than this complimentary coffee cupping. Sip a few different brews, savor their tastes and aromas, and participate in a discussion.
(Nossa Familia Coffee, Pearl District, free)

Love in Action Bake Sale Past Event List
In honor of Women's History Month, the whimsical bake shop and ice creamery Holler Treats is throwing a bake sale that will raise funds for Rose Haven, a nonprofit day shelter and community. Donations of items like new cosmetics, socks, underwear, and bras will also be accepted while you pick up treats from Saint Frances, Jen's Pastries, Little Red's Bakeshop, Zuckercreme, and many more lovely bakers. 
(Holler Treats, Sellwood-Moreland, free)


Algiers Past Event List
Led by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Franklin James Fisher, Atlanta-based quartet Algiers will bring their cathartic, soulful, and shapeshifting blend of gospel- and blues-tinged post-punk back to town for a headlining set supporting their new Matador Records-released album, Shook. They will be joined by the Aussie noise-rock duo Party Dozen.
(Show Bar, Buckman, $15)

A Million Ways to Cry in the West: Flamy Grant with Story & Tune
Past Event List Giddy up for an evening of heart-worn tunes, plucked guitars, bedazzled boots, and queer lyricism with drag performer/gospel singer Flamy Grant, Aussie roots duo Story & Tune, indie pop artist Hannah Glavor, and folk singer-songwriter Annie Bethancourt.
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, $12-$15)

modernlove. with Miette Hope Past Event List
Indie pop band modernlove. takes inspiration from their small-town upbringing in Drogheda, Ireland for feel-good, coming-of-age anthems about young love and partying with friends. They will support their latest EP, Only Ever OnlyYou, alongside pop singer-songwriter Miette Hope.
(Holocene, Buckman, $15)

Runnner with waveform* Past Event List
On their debut album, Like Dying Stars, We're Reaching Out, indie rock project Runnner (aka LA-based musician Noah Meinman) turned things like cell phones, tape recorders, voicemails, cardboard, and the hum of his air conditional into a lush homemade orchestra. He will support the album after an opening set from Connecticut-based alt-pop duo waveform*.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)


Fantastic Baby: K-Pop Dance Party Past Event List
Calling members of the BTS army, Blackpink’s Blink, SHINee World, Seventeen CARAT, and all fans of K-pop! You have "permission to dance" to all of the bops at this high-energy K-pop tribute night, thanks to DJs Moobek and Accia.
(Holocene, Buckman, $10-$15)


Jamuna Chiarini Presents: Arpan — An Offering Past Event List
Dance artist and Oregon ArtsWatch dance writer Jamuna Chiarini will share this solo performance in the traditional style of Odissi, one of the oldest and most spiritual dance forms in Indian culture. The evening will also include a short film screening by Portland dance photographer Jingzi Zhao, who documented Chiarini as she adapted her dance practice to pandemic isolation, and a post-show Q&A session with Portland dance artist Linda K. Johnson.
(Echo Theatre, Richmond, $15)


Frankenstein's Comic Book Swap Unearthed
Past Event List Frankenstein's Comic Book Swap will return to its new location at the Lloyd Center this month for the 20th edition of its delightfully weird ephemera-swapping gathering. While no longer headquartered at the Eagles Lodge, the beloved crate-digging bonanza retains its lo-fi charm with hard-to-find VHS, classic comics, and dog-eared paperbacks.
(Lloyd Center, Lloyd District, $0-$1)

Movie Madness Miniplex Sale
Past Event List Vintage media mavens will scuttle over to Movie Madness this weekend for hard-to-find VHS, DVDs, and Blu-rays straight from the rental shop's vast collection, plus limited edition I Heart Movie Madness shirts. Afterward, true cinephiles can check out screenings of Return to Seoul or Inside at Cinema 21.
(Movie Madness, Sunnyside, free)

Spring Plant Sale & Mimosas Past Event List
Now that spring has arrived, it's time to plan and plot out your garden. Side Yard Farm has you covered at their annual spring sale with plenty of greens, herbs, brassicas, and more on offer. The farm bar will be open and shoppers can enjoy mimosas, Extracto coffee, and pastries from Miss Zumsteins while browsing. 
(The Side Yard Farm, Cully, free)


Opening: Bonnie Lucas 1978-2023
Past Event List Portland's newest contemporary art venue has lived past lives as a support hotline and a "glamour shots" pop-up, and will settle in its permanent home in PDX Contemporary's former Flanders Street space. This weekend, ILY2 will present their first exhibition: Bonnie Lucas 1978-2023, the first solo show on the West Coast for the New York-based artist. Drop by to explore the space and learn more about Lucas's allegorical, ultra-femme works.
(ILY2, Pearl District, free)



World's Hottest Goss: A Comedy Show Remind List
Fans of local comedy and movie theater lobbies will be delighted by Portland's newest recurring laugh fest, which features a rotating fleet of the city's "mediumest comedians" with gags and wisecracks that'll help you beat the Sunday night blues.
(Studio One Theaters, Richmond)


Church of Film: The Devil in The Space Age—Experimental Polish Animation
Past Event List If your taste in cinema tends toward the dark and satirical, then you'll love 20th-century Polish animation—the radical industry of stop motion artists and illustrators had a reputation for confrontation and antifascist undertones. This collection of experimental, forward-thinking Polish works will screen for free at the Red Fox, so post up with a cocktail to gaze at "dreams and devils in the age of the machine."
(The Red Fox, Humboldt, free)


talker with Lou Roy, Shaylee, and smilepile
Past Event List Indie rock project talker will support their latest album, In Awe of Insignificance, which the A.V. Club described as "cynically playful upbeat numbers to stomping midtempo rockers to thrumming, heartrending electro-pop." Don't miss opening sets from "anti-genre" singer-songwriter Lou Roy, power pop trio Shaylee, and folk soloist smilepile.
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown , $10-$12)


Melange: A Queer & POC Variety Show
Past Event List As anti-LGBTQIA+ and anti-drag bills continue to circulate throughout the US, let's sashay to the events that make Portland great. After bringing inclusive drag deliciousness to Portland for the last four years, Melange fits right in at the Clinton Street Theater, where they present a recurring blend of melanated drag, sultry burlesque, and circus performance. Dahlia Kash and Umbruh will host this springtime eleganza with performances by Temera Titty, Mona Chrome, Sherwood Ryder, and One Half Nelson. 
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $15)


Old Pal Spring Market Past Event List
Trendy neighborhood oyster spot Old Pal will host this springtime market, where you'll find indigo-dyed goodies, flowers, piñatas, fresh garden starts, and herbal offerings. Don't miss the chance to take a peek at Joshua Kermiet's acrylic works in Tea Gardens, which closes March 31; you can also grab negronis and oysters while you browse.
(Old Pal, Sunnyside, free)



Motown: The Sound of Young America Past Event List
The Beatles and their British Invasion ilk weren't the only musicians occupying the airwaves in the late '50s. Starting out in Detroit, Motown was an infectious blend of gospel, blues, and pop that reshaped American sound. Led by former prizefighter Berry Gordy, Jr., Motown hit the mainstream with acts like the Supremes, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and others—learn more about it at this exhibition, where you'll find stage costumes, instruments, and interactive displays. 
(Oregon Historical Society, South Park Blocks, $0-$10, Friday-Sunday; closing)


Feminist March 2023
Past Event List Returning from a pandemic-related hiatus, Hollywood Theatre's Feminist March program will once again offer up a full month of screenings celebrating women in film. Presented in partnership with Portland State University's Center for Women's Leadership, Synth Library Portland, and Quest Center, this year's lineup includes 12 films directed by women, including multiple flicks by Black, Indigenous, and queer directors. This weekend, drop by for screenings of Clueless and The Watermelon Woman.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Pricing varies, Saturday-Sunday)

Past Event List I hadn't planned to add Inside to my watchlist, but then I saw the trailer, which raised my blood pressure immediately. The thriller follows daddy Willem as he acts his gravelly little heart out, playing an art thief trapped in an NYC penthouse during a failed heist. If you're anything like me, that doesn't sound so bad. Maybe there's a fancy bathroom. A few problems, though: there's no food, no clean water, the temperature in the space is slowly increasing, and our dude might be forced to eat the tropical fish out of a fish tank. Torturous? Yeah. But since seeing The Lighthouse, I've learned that there's no one I'd rather lose my mind with than Dafoe. LINDSAY COSTELLO
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Return to Seoul Past Event List
You may think that you’ve experienced a story like the one being told in Return to Seoul based on a description of its plot, but that is only the beginning of the journey it has in store. It is a film that immerses you in the life of the charismatic yet chaotic 25-year-old Frédérique "Freddie" Benoît who has returned to South Korea. She is there supposedly by chance but decides to seek out her birth parents who she has never met. With a mesmerizing debut performance by Park Ji-Min, it is a work that sees her character radically change over the years as she searches for some sort of tranquility. No matter how many immense leaps through time the film takes, it paints an intimate portrait that ensures even the quietest moments are bursting with emotion. PORTLAND MERCURY WRITER CHASE HUTCHINSON
(Cinema 21, Northwest Portland, $9-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Studio Ghibli Film Festival Past Event List
Over the last 30 years, Studio Ghibli has become legendary for its lush visuals, emotional and affecting storytelling, and poetic, intelligent approach to nature and the more-than-human world. OMSI's Studio Ghibli Film Festival will return for its eighth (almost) annual presentation of audience faves like My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, as well as underrated classics like Pom Poko and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.
(OMSI, Central Eastside, $6.50-$7.50, Friday-Sunday)


Tamales Festival
Past Event List Wrapped up in corn husks or banana leaves, tamales are the presents of the culinary world. Treat yourself to a bevy of these handcrafted delicacies at the Portland Mercado's festival, which will offer exclusive specials from businesses representing various regions across Latin America.
(Portland Mercado, Mount Scott-Arleta, Friday-Sunday)


NAYA's Native Made Spring Marketplace Past Event List
Native American Youth nonprofit NAYA is reprising its Native-Made Marketplace, taking over a shopfront in the corporate-turned-indie Lloyd Center Mall for the weekend. Along with 40 Native vendors to peruse, the marketplace will feature artists, makers, and music.
(Lloyd Center, Lloyd District, free, Saturday-Sunday)


Altered Terrain
Past Event List Oregon-based creatives Christine Bourdette and Michael Boonstra look closely at the shifting lands that surround us to think about environmental mutations, distortions, and metamorphoses. Their pensive, textural works in Altered Terrain are "simultaneously resilient and fragile."
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, free, Friday-Saturday)

Creative Diversity Abides: Two Group Shows by Blackfish Gallery Artists
Past Event List Blackfish Gallery will present a group exhibition featuring over 30 contemporary Oregon artists, launching a new era of programming after relocating to a larger space in the historic Otis Elevator Building. Catch the show, which features a diverse range of sculptures, works on paper, and photography, before it travels to the Visual Arts Center in Newport later this spring.
(Blackfish Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

I have done it again / One year in every ten / I manage it— Past Event List
Contemporary mainstay Adams and Ollman are celebrating their 10th anniversary with a special exhibition, which compiles works by self-taught and boundary-pushing artists, important influencers, and special friends from the gallery's roster. Buzz-building favorites like Mariel Capanna, Vaginal Davis, and Jessica Jackson Hutchins will have works on display alongside visionary 20th-century painters Katherine Bradford, Charles Burchfield, and others.
(Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Pour the Water as I Leave: Installation, Vol I: Film In Progress Past Event List
Portland's strong Bosnian community includes many former refugees who immigrated to the United States after the Balkan Wars. Bosnian-born director Daniela Repas's animated documentary Pour the Water as I Leave, which is currently in production, tells their important stories. This exhibition will feature behind-the-scenes photography by multidisciplinary artist Simone Fischer alongside hand-drawn animation cels and excerpts from the film.
(SATOR Projects, Central Eastside, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Past Event List Alicia Decker and Elissa Breitbard of Lu Kynn, a too-cool textile collaboration project, will present their "thoughtful and intentional fiber compositions" in this exhibition, emphasizing the abstraction, pattern, and color possibilities in repurposed fabric. The compositions in RE:forms might remind you of aerial photographs or far-off topographical landscapes.
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, free, Friday-Saturday)

Remembering to Remember: Experiments in Sound
Past Event List Curated by Roya Amirsoleymani and Felisha Ledesma, Remembering to Remember: Experiments in Sound (named after a Pauline Oliveros quote, natch) includes live performances, workshops, multichannel compositions, and video works at the cutting edge of experimental sound and moving image art. An exhibition with works by contemporary tastemakers like Synth Library Portland, Takashi Makino, and others will set the scene.
(PICA, Eliot, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

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