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In accordance with the recent mandate from Oregon Governor Kate Brown, masks are required during Open-Air Cinema at OMSI. Masks continue to be required for all staff and visitors at the Portland Art Museum, including Venice VR Expanded.

Where the House Was

This film is streaming online as part of PIFF 2.0.
This film was originally slated to screen during PIFF 43.

Directed by Ryan Adams

United States | 2019 | 58 mins.

The Hugo House in Seattle was a Victorian house, turned theater, turned café, and finally, an artist residency that was a haven for writers, poets, and artists. Like in other cities, urban renewal and gentrification came for the house, to make way for mixed-use apartments, but not before co-founder Frances McCue captured what made this such a special place in the Seattle fabric. What follows is the history of not only the house but the house’s namesake: a working-class Seattle poet whose unique style of “triggering town” is still influencing a generation of writers. Told through archival footage, recordings, animations, and a bold last hurrah, Where the House Was is a loving nod to the historical importance of places that act as conduits for creativity—and the very breath that makes urban spaces so unique.



Captioning is not available for this film.


The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.