Continuing an 80-year tradition of sliver screenings started during its past life as the Bay Theatre, Majestic Bay Theatres melds state-of-the-art equipment with the architectural allure of a vintage movie house. Peepers searching for the latest action flick or rollicking comedy can scan the triplex theater's schedule of notable talkies, including the upcoming drama The Debt starring Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington or the current fantasy spine-tingler Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Dolby Digital Surround EX audio systems wash cinephiles in cascades of crystal-clear sound waves unknown in the still, soundless desert of the real world, and plush stadium seats embrace bodies tenderly without obscuring sight lines.
If the walls of the Moore Theatre could talk, they would probably brag, and with plenty of reason. Part of the National Register of Historic Places, the Moore Theatre has thrived as Seattle's oldest-running entertainment venue since 1907. Behind its quaint exterior, flanked with Italian and Byzantine terracotta details, lies a playhouse of grandiose opulence and architectural marvel. Inside, a grand lobby of marble, onyx, and mosaic flooring leads to an auditorium where ceiling frescos of cream and gold lord over 1,400 seats. In its burgeoning years, the venue played host to performances by Ethel Barrymore, the Marx Brothers, and Harry Houdini, becoming a beacon for vaudeville's best and a vacation home for audiences during the Great Depression. Lately, the venue has welcomed a broad variety of community-based lectures, beauty pageants, and dance troupes. Its glimmering interiors have also added eye candy to many videos from rock bands such as Wilco, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam, and comedians such as Wanda Sykes and Patton Oswalt.
In an age of high-tech multiplexes, old-time movie theaters still feel as charming as ever. Housed in a beautiful historic building with a retro marquee, Ark Lodge Cinemas works hard to retain that vintage charm, even earning nod from Seattle Weekly as 2013's Best Arts Comeback. Up on the screen, family-friendly animated films, action-packed blockbusters, and high-brow art-house flicks project on three screens, allowing parents to find a lighthearted escape and kids to ponder the implications of a post-apocalyptic existence. The staff also engages the community with campy horror classics during Dark Lodge Theater nights, and by sharing owner David McRae's weekly Film Notes.
Built in 1925, converted into a movie house in 1968 and added to the expanding Landmark Theatre chain in 1979, the two-screen Harvard Exit Theatre sits at the north edge of Capitol Hill’s business district. Offering a lobby that feels more like a living room, complete with fireplace, piano and comfortable sofas and chairs, the Harvard Exit is almost as eye-catching as the cinema it shows. It screens a range of movie offerings, from popular independent and foreign-language films to more obscure festival fare. Keeping up with the times, the theater has upgraded its facilities to include both digital projection and sound, and often plays host to screenings for both the annual Seattle International Film Festival and the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
Most summer weekends, up to 1,000 cineastes flock to Fremont Outdoor Movies for screenings of pop classics, cult favorites, indie films, and video shorts broadcast via Blu-Ray digital projection with 5.1 THX surround sound. Omitting only the cars and the prohibitions against hand holding, Fremont pays homage to the drive-in theaters of old as warm summer evenings slowly fade into warm summer nights. Audiences of all ages bring lawn chairs, rubber floats, and even sofas to enjoy movies such as Raising Arizona, Sideways, and Caddyshack.
Fremont Outdoor Movies believes that the community of an open-air theater is often the best part of the experience. In addition to regular screenings, they also hold special events such as an Edward Scissorhands–inspired haircutting contest and a Show Us Your Scar contest to celebrate Young Frankenstein. Outside the theater, cinephiles can cruise a makeshift food court provided by Mobile Food Rodeo.
The non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre Association exists to develop, produce and present live musical theater for the cultural enrichment of the Northwest community, and to preserve, maintain, and operate the historic and irreplaceable 5th Avenue Theatre. To achieve this mission, the Theatre will actively pursue the highest standards of artistic excellence and service, enhance and continuously improve all aspects of the facility operations, endeavor to make its programming accessible and relevant to all audiences, and maintain organizational stability.