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Uptown Cinemas


2001 Photo from the Dave Felthous collection
SIFF Cinema
511 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle WA 98109
(206) 324-9996

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Record #2594  
 Opened: 1926
Capacity:
Architect(s):
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:
 Previously operated by: SRO Theatres, Cineplex Odeon Theatres, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, AMC Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Dave Felthous.

One of the oldest operating movie theaters in Seattle, the Uptown dates to the first decades of the 20th century. For years a part of the old Sterling chain, the Uptown was a second-run house and experimented with discount prices ("All Seats 50 Cents!") in the late 50s. In the 60s Sterling began programmiing first-run features at the Uptown, which is in the busy Queen Anne neighborhood two blocks from Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World's Fair. In the 70s the auditorium was remodeled with a new, wider stage and screen and modern, glowing-ball wall lights. (See the interior photos of the Longview Theater, Longview, WA, to view the light fixtures).

Sterling converted most of its houses to CinemaScope on the cheap. At the Uptown, hand-pulled masking wasn't even traverse, so someone had to go to each side of the screen and pull the masking back for CinemaScope. A friendly race developed between the projectionist and masking-puller (usually the door person). To switch to the full screen, someone had to go behind the screen, wait until the curtain was closed far enough so that the masking of the "flat" screen was out of view, then dash to both sides of the screen and pull back the masking before the curtain reopened to reveal the full screen.

In 1984 the Uptown underwent a major overhaul and expansion. The original auditorium was gutted and shortened slightly to allow for a bigger lobby, the floor re-excavated with a much-steeper slope, the walls draped with burgundy fabric, and art-deco light fixtures installed. The remade auditorium has 515 seats and a curved screen. An Italian restaurant next door was purchased and torn down except for the top of the ornate brick facade on the east and south walls. Within this space Sterling built two stadium-style auditoriums with about 300 seats each. The Uptown became part of the Cineplex Odeon group in 1986.

AMC closed the theater after the last shows on November 28, 2010, and the Seattle International Film Festival subsequently purchased the theater, reopening it in October 2011.

 Photos
 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

November 2011 photos from the Dave Felthous collection.


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Daytime exterior

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Nighttime exterior

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Cinema 1, 515 seats

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Cinema 2, 284 seats

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Cinema 3, 172 seats

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Uptown neon above wa...

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Concession stand
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May 2010 photos from the Mark Campbell collection.


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February 2007 photos from the Scott Neff collection.


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March 2006 photos from the Darren Snow collection.


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February 2004 photos from the Matt Lutthans collection.


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Auditorium #1

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Auditorium #1

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Auditorium #1
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November 2003 photos from the Matt Lutthans collection.


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Auditorium #2
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2001 photos from the Dave Felthous collection.


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Last featured 1/23/2005. Last edited 8/27/2014.

 
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