Perhaps it’s the new releases, the waterfront location, or the nearby cafes and restaurants that garnered the solitary screen at Edmonds Theater more than a thousand approving thumbs on Facebook. Or maybe it was that historic screen itself, flickering like a time-traveling DeLorean or the fire that engulfs an inexperienced magician’s top hat in an old-fashioned movie house complete with colorful murals and balcony seating. No strangers to performing their movie magic, the cinephile staff members of Edmonds Theater have fostered a devoted following. Generally screening one new movie at a time, they are also known to set aside a day or seven for thematic marathons, which go down even better with candy, nachos, or kettle corn.
With more than a century of bygone days tucked beneath its foundation, the Historic Everett Theatre is one of the oldest operating theatres in the state of Washington. Today, the nonprofit Everett Theatre Society owns and operates the cinema house, enriching the community through the preservation of film and screenings of celebrated features. From plush red seats, guests watch noir, horror, and cult classics, mouthing memorable lines and shaking their heads at Casablanca's CGI effects. To honor and further the impact of cinema, local expert Jon Noe introduces the film-noir showings, and Historic Everett Theatre hosts the occasional free-movie night.
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.
Seattle’s Cinerama in Belltown combines a classic old-school cinema experience with state-of-the-art digital projection. One of only three theaters in the world that still show Cinerama-sized films, this local location also presents a slate of 3D films and other first-run features. Owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Cinerama keeps prices reasonable, while offering a slew of upscale touches, like chocolate popcorn and local munchies from Full Tilt Ice Cream and Cupcake Royale. The 70-foot screen provides a spectacular visual and audio experience, with older touches like comfortable rocking seats, a starry ceiling and a huge velvet curtain that dramatically opens before each screening. The retro lobby even includes an exhibit of original costumes from TV and movie hits like Batman and Captain Kangaroo.
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.
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.