The Seattle International Film Festival has secured a lease on Capitol Hill’s Egyptian Theatre, one of the city’s landmark venues, as a year-round spot for screenings and other events.
In addition, the organization has purchased SIFF Cinema Uptown on Lower Queen Anne.
The announcement was made at SIFF’s Opening Night Gala by managing director Mary Bacarella and artistic director Carl Spence, who thanked the “Angels of the Uptown” — Microsoft retirees and philanthropists David and Linda Cornfield — who funded the purchase; and real-estate development firm Point 32, which negotiated the transaction.
The Uptown, which opened as a silent-movie house in 1926, was shuttered in the winter of 2010. In October 2011, SIFF secured the lease, fixed the place up and has been programming there ever since. The Egyptian Theatre, built as a Masonic Temple in 1915 and closed in 2013, will now be known as “SIFF Cinema Egyptian.” The Egyptian was operated as a Landmark Theatre for many years, during which SIFF periodically leased the theater for its programming. SIFF signed a lease with the building’s owner, Seattle Central College, earlier this month.
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The festival group has launched a fundraising campaign to take the Egyptian “to the next level,” Bacarella said. One anonymous donor has already extended a $150,000 match offer. Along with donor outreach, SIFF has launched a “Text to Give” campaign (text 501501 then SIFF).
“The opportunity to secure the future of both the Uptown and the Egyptian Theatre at the same time fulfills our hopes beyond all expectations,” Spence said.
Nicole Brodeur: firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-464-2334