Here are some historic movie houses outside of Seattle city limits, in our corner of the state.
Within the city limits, Seattle has lost numerous historic movie houses in recent decades, but venture out a little ways and you’ll find plenty of them. Many have been neighborhood movie houses for generations, often family-run.
Here’s a list of some theaters in our corner of the state that have been open for 50 years or longer and are still showing movies. If you don’t see your own favorite here, please add it in the online comments!
7th St. Theatre, 313 Seventh St., Hoquiam. Built in 1928, this ornate (there’s a sky painted on the ceiling!) former movie palace still shows classic films year-round, as well as hosting live performances; it’s currently fundraising for needed repairs.
Admiral Theatre, 515 Pacific Ave., Bremerton. Though it’s mostly a live-events venue, this Art Deco house dating from 1942 still shows the occasional classic film. (“Roman Holiday” for Valentine’s Day, anyone?)
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Blue Mouse Theatre, 2611 N. Proctor St., Tacoma. Named, at its 1923 opening, for a lounge in France, the Blue Mouse is getting close to a century of showing first-run movies.
Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia. The elegant home of the Olympia Film Society opened in 1924; it underwent significant restoration after a 1937 fire.
Clyde Theatre, 217 First St., Langley. Whidbey Islanders have been going to the movies at this cozy, family-owned cinema since 1937.
Crest Cinema Center, 16505 Fifth Ave. N.E., Shoreline. The last remaining Seattle-area outpost of the Landmark Cinemas chain, this second-run fourplex was built in 1949.
Dragonfly Cinema, 822 Bay St., Port Orchard. The fortunes of this cinema, originally opened in 1925, have been up and down over the decades but it’s clearly a survivor.
Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St., Mount Vernon. A restored vaudeville and silent-film house, this elegant venue opened in 1926 and now hosts both film and live events.
Lynwood Theater, 4569 Lynwood Center Road N.E., Bainbridge Island. Part of the local chain Far Away Entertainment, which also operates the Varsity and Admiral in Seattle, the Lynwood was Bainbridge’s first “talking pictures” theater, opening in 1936.
Rose Theatre, 235 Taylor St., Port Townsend. Rated very high — maybe at the very top? — on my personal list of Best Places To See A Movie is this lovingly restored jewel, a former 1907 vaudeville house that now boasts three unique screening rooms.
Roxy Theater, 115 Mashell Ave. S., Eatonville. Eatonville’s neighborhood theater dates back to 1942 — the same year as “Casablanca.”
Uptown Theatre, 1120 Lawrence St., Port Townsend. This building, originally an Odd Fellows Lodge opened in the 1890s, was converted to a movie house in 1948.
Vashon Theatre, 17723 Vashon Highway S.W., Vashon. The island’s only theater has been showing movies since 1947 — and still pops its popcorn with a World War II-era popper (made mostly of wood, as metals were saved for the war effort).
This post has been updated. A previous version included incorrect information about Dragonfly Cinema’s opening year and days of operation.