Keeping up with the times: Go inside the renovation of the Bagdad

Keeping up with the times: Go inside the renovation of the Bagdad »Play Video
Renovations are underway at the Bagdad. Click on the "Play Video" button to get an inside look.

PORTLAND, Ore. – A big makeover is underway for the historic Bagdad Theater that's been on the corner of Hawthorne since 1927.

The change is something a lot of second-run theaters will need to do at some point to stay competitive.

But some people fear that when these theaters make the switch from old-time film projectors to the big fancy digital ones, they'll lose the old brew and view feel that includes hot pizza, cold pints and tickets for a couple dollars.

At the Bagdad, tickets will cost more and movies will be first run, but patrons don't have to worry because a greasy slice of pizza and an IPA will still be on the menu.

The new Bagdad will have bigger seats, a digital projector and a big sound system.

Lars Raleigh, McMenamins chief operations officer, and the crew working to redo the McMenamin's theater, aren't trying to be the big multiplex; instead, they're trying to preserve and polish up the Bagdad that a century of moviegoers have loved.

The project isn't cheap. Digital projectors start at $40,000. It's the reason the jump from film to digital projectors for the second-run theaters around here are such a challenge.

But when the Bagdad opens at the end of next month, they're hoping to keep ticket prices reasonable – under $10 is the goal.

Click the "Play Video" button above to get a look at the renovation.