PAM CUT announces Tomorrow Theater’s opening programming

Tomorrow Theater main theater

World-Class artists bring the curtain up on new multimedia theater on November 3

Tickets on sale October 16 at noon PDT

The Portland Art Museum’s film and new media center, PAM CUT // Center for an Untold Tomorrow, is thrilled to announce the opening of the Tomorrow Theater, a new space devoted to expanding what constitutes cinema, art, and multimedia storytelling. The 250-seat Tomorrow Theater will open its doors to the public on November 3, 2023, with programming designed to inspire and surprise audiences and artists no longer content to be contained to a single medium, label, or art form.

The opening week, featuring legendary artist David Byrne, will give audiences a taste of what to expect from PAM CUT’s new venue in the heart of Southeast Portland, at 3530 SE Division St. On November 3, Byrne will take over the Tomorrow Theater with an interactive and live presentation of Reasons to be Cheerful, in a special Portland-themed edition. Founded by Byrne, Reasons to be Cheerful is a nonprofit online magazine, which aims to inspire curiosity about how the world can be better and to encourage us to be part of that change.

Byrne’s take-over will launch the theater’s signature series, Carte Blanche, where world-class artists and creative polymaths are given free rein to activate the theater in bold and interdisciplinary ways. Future Carte Blanche guests will include Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter, who will join in January 2024.

Black and white photo of David Byrne and a full color photo of Ruth Carter
Carte Blanche Programmers David Byrne and Ruth E. Carter

“We are beyond thrilled to open the Tomorrow Theater, and to introduce audiences to all of the wild and wondrous things that storytelling can be,” says Amy Dotson, Director of PAM CUT and Curator of Film and New Media at the Portland Art Museum. “We’re excited for artists to show off the capabilities of the theater and demonstrate what’s possible. Like the creatives it will support, the Tomorrow Theater is a real shape-shifter. It’s simultaneously a cinema, a performance space, an experimentation hall, and a community gathering place, to feed those who are culturally curious and uncontainable!”

Amy Dotson in the Tomorrow Theater
Amy Dotson in the Tomorrow Theater

The Tomorrow Theater

The Tomorrow Theater is rooted in nearly a century of Portland movie-going history, starting with its origin as a vaudeville theater. The theater embodies PAM CUT’s mission to advance media arts in all its forms, embracing programming that defies neat categorization, sprawling across different crafts and mediums. The theater’s signature series, featuring curation by guest artists, partners, and creatives, will combine film, dance, comedy, sports, music, XR, performance, and so much more. When audiences walk into the theater, they will never quite know what Tomorrow brings.

The timing of the Tomorrow Theater opening aligns with the Portland Art Museum’s Rothko Pavilion expansion and renovation project. While the Museum’s Whitsell Auditorium is offline, the Tomorrow Theatre ensures a wide range of programs and events are still available to Museum, PAM CUT, and general audiences interested in the intersection of art, storytelling and media arts.

Andee Hess and Makrai Crecelius, of Portland-based and female-owned interior design studio Osmose, redesigned and renovated the theater from its most recent iteration as an X-rated cinema, with characteristic humor and imagination. The space nods to its past, with an eye toward the future.

Images of Tomorrow Theater entryway and concessions area
Interior details of the Tomorrow Theater


For full programming details, to purchase tickets and the latest news, visit

November: Unorthodox

Programming for November unfolds around the theme Unorthodox, which celebrates artists pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. Programs and events include a live activation of David Byrne’s Reasons to be Cheerfulwith screenings of Spike Lee’s American Utopia, Contemporary Color, with a performance by Cascadia Winterguard, and Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense, with a performance by PHAME; the inaugural FAM JAM, introducing an immersive screening of Laika’s Missing Link; a week of Unorthodox Docs, including a Documentary Now! mini- fest; the launch of futurist Lance Weiler’s Prototype series; a celebration of multi-talented national treasure Dolly Parton on the eve of her new album, Rockstar—plus sneak peeks galore including Mister Organ, Finding Groovopolis, Sundance 2023 feature gem Bad Press, and so much more!

December: Cultural Snackery

December offers a smorgasbord of fun and pop-culture joy, with a rare screening and performance of The Shining Back and Forth, a 10th Anniversary re-examining of Short Term 12 with special guests, a deep dive into the genius of Paul Reubens, and The Future of Film is Female series, curated by Caryn Coleman, showcasing the new work of groundbreaking women filmmakers. 

January: Shift/Happens

PAM CUT starts the new year with a focus on the innovations and innovators shifting the way we tell stories. Programs and events include Carte Blanche: Ruth E. Carter, featuring a live conversation with the Oscar-winning costume designer and celebration of her artistry (to coincide with Africa Fashion at the Portland Art Museum); Smart Phone Orchestra, an interactive storytelling experience that makes use of individual smartphones to create a single, monumental work of music and live storytelling; a special Portland edition of Podcast, but Outside and a John Waters double-feature and costume night!

Coming Soon: 

Partner programming begins in February 2024 with Venice Biennale, IndieCade, Blackstar Projects, Spring/Break, The Numberz FM, and Izhonny. A variety of local and national media artists, curators and innovators will also lend their eclectic talents and tastes to Tomorrow. 

Tomorrow Theater ongoing Signature Series: 

Audiences can look forward to experiences that fall into a wildly fun range of Tomorrow Theater signature series. They include: 

Tomorrow Theater Sponsors & Partners include: National Endowment for the Arts, Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, Ritz Family Foundation, Anish Savjani, Travel Portland, Mary and Don Blair, and The Lamb Baldwin Foundation.

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