Closing Event at the Crystal Ballroom
Tuesday, June 14
Bus Departure: from Hyatt Regency at 5:45 PM
Join MPIF as we bring together the PM and AM worlds to celebrate the connections, education, and knowledge exchange that transpired throughout the conference. With the Crystal Ballroom’s motto: on any night, anything can happen! Be prepared to be wowed, surprised, and entertained! With the history of the Crystal Ballroom, there is no better backdrop for this unforgettable night.
The Crystal Ballroom is no ordinary ballroom. It first opened its doors in 1914 (as World War I began), in the days when frisky Portland residents could still be arrested for dancing the Tango. During the Great Depression, “Dad” Watson staged popular old-time dance revivals here as a way to raise people’s spirits.
The hall has seen countless first loves unfold, police raids, visits by silent screen idols and Beat poets, psychedelic light shows, narrow escapes from fire, demolition, and neglect, and a listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
In the 1960s, the Crystal was the ultimate rock palace. People still argue about whether it was really Jimi Hendrix whom Little Richard fired in the middle of a performance at the Crystal. It is agreed, however, that bands like the Grateful Dead (twice), Ike & Tina Turner, Country Joe & The Fish, and Buffalo Springfield (with Neil Young and Stephen Stills), and a hundred others thrilled audiences at the big ballroom.
While the action on the stage has always thrilled, one thing everyone remembers about the Crystal is its astounding “floating” dance floor. “Like dancing on clouds,” is how people describe cutting a rug here. At the time of its construction, the Crystal’s mechanical dance floor (now fully restored to proper working order) was said to be unique on the Pacific Coast. Today, it may be the only one left in the United States. You will also appreciate the gorgeous decor: flamboyant wall sconces and light fixtures, grand paintings and gigantic windows everywhere. People who come to the Crystal seem to be inspired by an energy emanating from the site itself, a phenomenon social scientists call “the power of place.”