A Japanese bookstore will move into the historic Guild Theatre
Portland's Guild Theatre will be filled once again — this time with books.
Kinokuniya Books, a Japanese-based bookstore, will take over the 91-year-old space by the end of the summer.
The bookstore will carry items from an extensive collection of manga, graphic novels, art and design books and cookbooks, among others, translated in both Japanese and English. In addition to books, Kinokuniya sells stationary, films and collectible items.
The company has over 80 stores worldwide, 12 of which are located in the U.S. Kinokuniya already has one small Oregon location in Beaverton at 10500 S.W. Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, which has been there since 2012.
The historic 450-seat Guild Theatre, which opened in 1927, was bought by Oregon developer Tom Moyer in the 1980s as part of his movie theater chain.
The Northwest Film Center began leasing the building in 1998 and utilized the space for its annual film festivals. However, the Guild Theatre saw its last occupant in 2006 after the Northwest Film Center discontinued its lease with the building. It was then boarded up in 2008 and shut off from the public. The Guild was the last single-screen theater in Portland.
Opera Theater Oregon attempted to rent and renovate the space in 2010, but the group's proposal fell through.
Then, a little over a year ago, passersby began to notice renovations being made to the theater. At the time, TMT Development Company was making updates to the 5,000-square-foot space for an unnamed tenant. Members of the Moyer family own the theater space through TMT.
The two-story theater, located at 829 SW 9th Ave. in Midtown, is surrounded by high rise buildings, restaurants and shops.
Permit plans show the new bookstore will include a cafe with a seating area, a renovated upper level and a new elevator.
A Kinokuniya representative said many of the store's details have yet to be confirmed, but plans have been made for the store to open this August.