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King Cat Theater

2001 Photo from the Dave Felthous collection.
2130 Sixth Ave
Seattle WA

Demolished 2013 Live Theatre
Record #15075  
 Opened: 1974
 Closed: Yes (date unknown)
 Demolished: 2013
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: King Cinema
 Previously operated by: Walter Reade Theatres, General Cinema Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Dave Felthous.

The King Cat opened in downtown Seattle in 1974 as the King Cinema. Built by the Walter Reade circuit, the name reflects King County as well as the local King Broadcasting Co., which was owned at the time by the Bullitt family, good friends of Mr. Reade. An uninspired box from the outside, the King's auditorium (about 500 seats) is a cozy room with stadium seating in the back portion. A massive, goldish-tan curved drapery glides open to reveal, alas, a flat screen.

After being open for only a year or so, the King closed, with bankruptcy given as the official reason. The theater sat dark for a period and then was taken over by General Cinema (5/20/1977), which ran it as a first-run house for a number of years. The King was in the local movie spotlight in 1977 when it booked the only local showing of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and showed it in 35mm. General refused to install 70mm equipment which theaters in other cities had done.

Partly because of the furor, Randy Finley of the locally owned Seven Gables circuit was able to secure a print for the 70mm auditorium at the Crest Cinema in a north suburb, and movie purists flocked there.

General continued to operate the theater until the late January 5, 1992 when it pulled out. In recent years it has been operated as the King Cat, a jazz reference, and hosts concerts and occasional film programs such as the locally popular, long-running World Cavalcade series of travel films that attracts a loyal audience of oldsters.

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

Photos from the Scott Neff collection.

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Last featured 1/23/2005. Last edited 6/2/2014.

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