Jul 18 2013

The Mission Theater (1624 NW Glisan St., Portland) has a long and storied past, from churchgoers to longshoremen, from actors to beer-drinking film buffs.

MissionBuilt in 1912 (and today listed on the National Register of Historic Places) as the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant Church of Portland, it served the faith-based community in this building for 42 years.

Bring in the dockworkers! - that's right, dockworkers. From pious church-going beginnings to serving the burly, blue-collar, longshoremen of the waterfront in one fell swoop. It must have been quite the 180-degree change. Those fellas stuck around for 28 years and then sailed on.

After a four- or five-year stint as a storage warehouse, the Mission building became home to a local acting troupe in 1986 or '87, called Heart Theater. Sadly, their efforts lasted just about a year.

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