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Northgate Theatre

2001 Photo from the Dave Felthous collection.
10 Northgate Plaza
Seattle WA 98125

Demolished 2005 Live Theatre
Record #2585  
 Opened: September 28, 1951
 Closed: February 21, 2002
 Demolished: 2005
Capacity: 1290 seats
Architect(s): John Graham & Co
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Northgate Music Theatre
 Previously operated by: SRO Theatres, Cineplex Odeon Theatres, Loews Cineplex Entertainment

Information for this tour was contributed by Dave Felthous.

Opened by Sterling Theaters in 1951 next to the year-old Northgate Shopping Center, the Northgate Theater has 1,300 seats, the back portion in a stadium-style level that extends over the sloped-ceiling lobby. Because the area was largely undeveloped at the time, locals wondered at the wisdom of building such a large theater in an unpopulated place. ("Who's going to drive all the way out there to go to a movie?") But time proved Sterling right; the Northgate became very popular and was a mainstay of the chain for many years. Initially a second-run theater, the Northgate converted to first-run films in 1966 with Cary Grant's final film, Walk Don't Run.

When multiplexes became the wave of the future, Sterling drew up plans to convert the Northgate to several smaller theaters. But the shopping center, which owns the building, kept changing hands and each new owner had different ideas for the theater property. Frustrated at Northgate, Sterling found property in a new shopping complex a mile away and opened its sixplex Oak Tree Cinemas in 1986.

After that, the Northgate languished, known more for its sticky floors and broken seats than its once comfortable, inviting surroundings. It closed Feb. 21, 2002. It's final movie: Black Hawk Down, a move-over from its spiffy sister, the Oak Tree.

Truly the end of an era for Seattle moviegoers.

The Northgate Theater reopened as a live venue called the Northgate Music Theater. The promoters had a year's lease on the property, which probably eventually will be redeveloped along with the abandoned medical complex next door.

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

May 2005 photos from the Adam Martin collection.

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2002 photos from the Matt Lutthans collection.

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Last featured 7/2/2005. Last edited 12/11/2022.

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